Female apprentices more likely to end up in low-paid jobs

The Northern Echo: Gender stereotyping was dissuading young women from careers in traditional male industries. Gender stereotyping was dissuading young women from careers in traditional male industries.

THE number of women apprentices has doubled over the past decade, but they are more likely to end up in low-paid jobs, new research has revealed.

Many work in female-dominated sectors such as early years childcare and hairdressing, where wages tend to be lower than other professions.

The TUC and the National Apprenticeship Service said gender stereotyping was dissuading young women from careers in traditional male industries.

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

Half of all apprentice starts in 2011/12 were female, but women made up just 2 per cent in construction and vehicle maintenance and 4 per cent in engineering, said the report.

Fewer than one in 25 black and Asian apprentices entered engineering, construction and electro-technical in 2011/12, while Asian people took up just 4.1 per cent of apprenticeships, despite making up 7.5 per cent of the wider UK population, the research revealed.

TUC general secretary Frances OGrady said: "There is genuine political will to try and improve apprenticeships and peoples access to them.

"However, this research shows that huge inequalities remain. Young women still overwhelmingly find themselves pursuing careers in traditional industries which tend to pay less and black and Asian people continue to be under-represented in key sectors of the economy.

"Unless we create better training and employment opportunities for young people, and challenge gender stereotyping and discrimination from the outset, the situation is not going to improve.

"Unions, employers and government must work together to provide better careers advice in schools and to support and improve opportunities for all young people."

The report called for better careers advice for young people, more work experience and an increase in visits for young women to male-dominated workplaces.

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