Simon Moffat

HR Director at Prudential UK Insurance Business

Jobs For The Boys Myth Limits Apprentice Opportunities

19 May 2017

  • Gender bias colours students’ attitudes to apprenticeships
  • Six out of 10 school leavers believe apprenticeship opportunities are in sectors with mainly male workforces
  • One in three parents believe apprenticeships are suited to boys
  • Male students wrongly believe apprenticeships for men involve manual labour while female students think most opportunities are in nursing, healthcare and childcare

School leavers are missing out on potential apprenticeship opportunities because they mistakenly believe that careers available are in so called ‘traditional’ gender specific careers, new research by leading employer Prudential shows1.

The insurer’s nationwide study of 16 to 18 year olds found that nearly two thirds (61 per cent) believe most apprenticeship opportunities are in sectors characterised by largely male workforces, like construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT.

Their parents share their views as one in three (31 per cent)  believe apprenticeships are more suitable for boys, while just one in eight (12 per cent) think they are more suitable for girls2,  with two thirds (65 per cent) willing to encourage their sons to consider apprenticeship opportunities compared to 57 per cent who would encourage their daughters to pursue an apprenticeship.

Government data shows apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles covering more than 170 industries from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to the legal sector3 and the gender split between successful applicants is slightly weighted towards women4. Apprenticeship participation is at record levels with nearly 900,000 starting schemes each year.

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