“Worrying trend” as apprentice numbers fall, says YWT

Thursday 12 July 2018

YWTResponding to today’s (Thursday 12 July) Department for Education statistics on apprenticeship starts, which show the overall number of starts has fallen in the past year, Young Women’s Trust’s communications and campaigns director Joe Levenson said:

“Today’s figures show that the amount of people starting apprenticeships has fallen – with the biggest fall seeming to be among women, who are often shut out due to low pay, discrimination and gender stereotypes.

“As a result, the Government is at risk of missing its target to recruit three million apprentices by 2020.

“To reverse this worrying trend, we need more part-time and flexible apprenticeships to help young women balance work and caring responsibilities.

“The Government must also raise the apprentice minimum wage. Lots of young people tell us they can’t afford to do an apprenticeship; the £3.70 an hour minimum wage barely covers the bus to work, let alone bills and rent. 

“It’s time to make apprenticeships work for women.”  


Notes to editor:  

  1. Young Women’s Trust (www.youngwomenstrust.org) supports and represents women aged 16-30 struggling to live on low or no pay in England and Wales and who are at risk of being trapped in poverty.
  2. The Department for Education today (Thursday 12 July) released apprenticeship starts data for April 2017-April 2018. The data can be found here.
  3. Young Women’s Trust released a new report in October 2017 showing that apprentices are struggling to get by on the (then) £3.50 an hour apprentice minimum wage (now £3.70). Two in five pay more to complete their apprenticeship than they earn.
  4. A 2016 report by Young Women’s Trust found that apprenticeships are not working for young women. The report, ‘Making Apprenticeships Work for Young Women’, shows that:

a)    Women tend to work in fewer sectors than men (and are shut out of areas like construction and engineering).

b)    Women receive lower pay than men; they face an eight per cent gender pay gap.

c)    Women are less likely to receive training as part of their apprenticeship.

d)    Women are more likely to be out of work at the end of their apprenticeship. 16 per cent of women said that they were out of work, compared to 6 per cent of men.

e)    As the Government strives to meet its target of creating three million apprenticeships by the end of this parliament in 2020, action is required to prevent these trends becoming further entrenched. Apprenticeships need to serve young women better and enable the full labour market to benefit from young women’s talents.

  1. For more information or to speak to a case study, please contact Bex Bailey on bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org or 07963018281.