Apprenticeship opportunities suffer from gender prejudice


School leavers and their parents are shunning apprenticeship opportunities because they mistakenly believe that they are divided into traditional gender-specific career routes.

New research from Prudential reveals that more than half of male school leavers think that most apprenticeships involve manual labour, while 61% of female students think apprenticeship opportunities for women are focused on gender stereotypical roles such as nursing, health and beauty. The study found that 61% of 16-18 year olds think that apprenticeships are largely found in sectors characterised by male dominated workforces such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT.

Conversely, government data shows that apprenticeships are available in around 1,500 job roles in 170 industries, covering everything from advertising to youth work, environmental engineering and legal. Moreover, the data also shows the gender split of those on apprenticeships in favour of women. 

The insurer’s research also reveals that parents share the misconceptions, with 31% believing apprenticeships are more suited to boys, versus 12% who think they are more suitable for girls.

65% of parents say they would be willing to encourage their son to pursue an apprenticeship while that figure is 57% for those with daughters.

Of both male and female respondents, the majority reported being unaware of which employers offer apprenticeship opportunities.  So even though apprenticeship uptake is at record levels with nearly 900,000 new starters every year, the report highlights the difficulties faced by employers in promoting their inclusive and diverse range.

The Prudential report was driven by the company’s support of apprenticeships and their 2017 apprenticeship programme which is creating 21 opportunities for young people. Offering the National Living Wage and the chance to gain essential qualifications, knowledge and life skills, the opportunities are the latest stage in the company’s £4.1 million investment in the scheme over 4 years. 

So far, Prudential has attracted 199 apprentices with its 15 month, high quality, work-based training programme, offering each the opportunity to achieve a recognised vocational qualification as well as gaining important work-based skills.  

The apprenticeships offer placements in roles across the company, including in IT, HR, customer services, operations, sales support, distribution, financial planning and marketing. Positions are available within Prudential’s Reading and Stirling offices.

Simon Moffatt, human resources director at Prudential’s UK insurance business, said: “No one should miss out on an opportunity to further their career, education or training because of myths and misunderstandings. Clearly more can be done to get the message to students that apprenticeship opportunities now exist across 170 different industries and that there should not be any gender stereotypes when it comes to career choices.”  


Friday, 19 May 2017

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Apprenticeship opportunities suffer from gender prejudice