Equality at work? Positive action in gender segregated apprenticeships

Equality at work? explores the attitudes towards and the use of positive action aimed at addressing gender inequality in apprenticeships offered in sectors in which women are underrepresented in England.

Some of Britain’s crucial industries are struggling to recruit the staff they need. As part of the Government’s commitment to meeting this skills gap, a target was set in 2015 of 3 million new apprenticeship starts by 2020. However, it is questionable whether the government will meet this target or its wider aspiration to make apprenticeships more accessible.

Despite this skills gap, women continue to be significantly under-represented in many parts of the economy – with little progress having been made in recent years. While there are more female than male apprentices, women remain locked out of sectors with significant skills gaps and which offer good pay and good prospects.

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