National Apprenticeship Service

Unionlearn and National Apprenticeship Service research reveals gender stereotyping in apprenticeships

Women apprentices are far more likely to end up in low-paid jobs as a result of training in female-dominated sectors, according to new research published today (Wednesday) by unionlearn – the TUC’s learning and skills organisation – and the National Apprenticeship Service.

The study shows that while there has been a large rise in the number of women taking apprenticeships over the last ten years, many end up working in female-dominated sectors, such as early-years childcare and hairdressing, where wages tend to be lower and where there is less chance of career progression.

The report, Under-representation by gender and race in apprenticeships, warns that gender stereotyping is dissuading young women from pursuing careers in traditionally male industries.

The study also raises concerns about the low number of black and Asian people taking apprenticeships, especially in higher-paid sectors such as engineering and construction.

As well as highlighting areas of concern the report also identifies examples of good practice that have helped overcome gender stereotyping.

These include one employer providing two-week ‘taster courses’ for women thinking of applying for construction apprenticeships and ‘girls into engineering’ days where female students can visit a local refinery, meet female staff, and take part in practical tasks associated with the job.

The report recommends:

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