ALOK Sharma MP met with residents at an employment project as part of International Women's Day.

The Employment Minister attended the Future Skills project on March 8 and said there was still an urgency to remove gender barriers.

Run by Oxfam, the scheme has helped more than 200 women at a number of sites, including the Caversham charity shop.

Mr Sharma said: “While there are more women in work than ever before and the gender pay gap is at a record low, there is still an urgency for us to act to remove barriers that prohibit women from working and limit their progress.

“Being able to work and earn a wage is vital for women’s economic independence and a fundamental pillar of gender equality.

“Projects like this one in Caversham sit alongside support from the jobcentre and our efforts to improve support for childcare through Universal Credit as well as supporting women once they are in work, to earn more and climb the ladder.”