Campaign to address gender gap in apprenticeship schemes

More men than women are starting apprenticeships for the first time since 2010.

More men than women are starting apprenticeships for the first time since 2010. - Credit: Archant

A trust which supports young woman who are struggling to make ends meet is campaigning to address the gender gap in apprenticeship schemes.

Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton.

Young Womens Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton. - Credit: Archant

Research carried out by the Young Women’s Trust shows that 8,000 more men than women started apprenticeships last autumn, as new male apprentices look set to outnumber women this year for the first time since 2010.

The trust believes that apprenticeships are not working for women due to gender stereotypes and that a lack of support can shut women out of male-dominated sectors like construction and engineering.

Women tend to go into lower-paid sectors, contributing to an apprentice gender pay gap of 21 per cent – or £2,000 a year, meaning they are less likely to receive training during their apprenticeship and less likely to get a job after.

Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: “The growing skills shortage in sectors like construction and engineering is all the more reason to support more young women into relevant apprenticeships.

“But the trust has found that young women across the country are shut out of these sectors. It is shocking that last year, in London, there were no higher level women apprentices in either construction or engineering. “Supporting young women into these apprenticeships benefits women, benefits businesses and benefits the economy. We need urgent action.

“We would like to see clear pathways made available to young women with low or no qualifications, so they can start apprenticeships and progress to the higher levels.

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“Much greater provision of part-time and flexible apprenticeships would also help young mothers and carers in particular, who often have to balance care with work.”

The trust is encouraging employers to sign its pledge to support more young women onto apprenticeship schemes. So far, companies including Asda, Network Rail and Barclays have signed up. You can nd out more by visiting

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