What is International Men’s Day?
International Men’s Day (IMD), 19th November, is a worldwide celebration to thank men of all ages for their contributions to society, to respect and celebrate them and to raise awareness of serious issues affecting men and boys.
IMD in the UK is overseen by the Men and Boys Coalition, a representative group of 100+ charities, academics and professionals in the field of men’s and boys’ wellbeing. While focusing on men and boys, IMD takes a gender inclusive approach, encouraging women and girls to participate (without creating competition around the wellbeing challenges that they also face).
Why is International Men’s Day important?
Industries are working hard to encourage more women into STEM careers, but today, men still account for 74%* of the manufacturing workforce in the UK . This demonstrates the significance of the challenges men and boys can face while here at OAS.
It’s vital that as a training provider, we create an environment of understanding and equip ourselves to support our colleagues and learners, aligning with IMD’s three core themes which aim to spread awareness and support:
• Making a positive difference to the wellbeing and lives of men and boys
• Raising awareness and/or funds for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing
• Promoting positive conversations about men, manhood and masculinity.
Having three broad themes every year helps to maximise participation and address some of the key issues that affect men and boys, including men’s health, the high male suicide rate, and the challenges faced by men and boys in education and work, such as stress, redundancy and unemployment.
What are we doing at OAS to support men and boys?
It’s important to us that our training centres foster an inclusive environment that celebrates differences and allows everyone to be the best version of themselves.
Over the past two years, we’ve been working with expert consultants through our Access and Awareness initiative to understand the barriers our learners face when on programme with us, building solutions to overcome them. This includes training a network of wellbeing champions and mental health first aiders across all our training centres who are on hand to provide support to anyone, whether they just want someone to talk to or they’re experiencing challenges in their personal or professional life.
We’re committed to supporting men, boys and the entire community to thrive, consistently listening to feedback and adapting our programmes to enable apprentices and learners to achieve the best they can personally and professionally!
* UK manufacturing workforce by gender 2023 | Statista