Apprenticeships: Greens Highlight Lack of Gender Balance

Kirsten Robb, Women and Youth Employment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (27 DEC) highlighted figures showing the Scottish Government’s Modern Apprenticeship programme is continuing to reflect outdated male-female job stereotypes, drawing young women into poorer paid work.

Analysis by the Scottish Greens shows the severe gender imbalance in different sectors has hardly changed since Green MSP Alison Johnstone raised the issue two years ago, with the proportion of young women doing construction apprenticeships falling from just 2 per cent in 2013 to an even lower 1.7 per cent today.

Figures for July to September this year show the percentage of women apprentices in key sectors includes:

Automotive: 2 per cent (unchanged from 2013/14)
Construction: 1.7 per cent (a drop from 2 per cent)
Engineering and Energy: 6.1 per cent (a 1.1 per cent rise)

While in low-paid sectors such as childcare, social care and hairdressing, the percentage of women apprentices is:

Sport, Health and Social Care: 81 per cent (a 5 per cent drop)
Personal Services: 89.4 per cent (a 1.6 per cent drop)

Kirsten Robb, Women and Youth Employment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Central Scotland, said:

“Earlier this year a Scottish Government report admitted that the Modern Apprenticeship programme was copying what is called ‘occupational segregation’ resulting in higher wages for male apprentices. Ministers need to pick up the pace and address this imbalance as a priority. We need to see a plan of action including specific efforts to help women access non-traditional courses like engineering and support for experienced women in these sectors to act as ambassadors. We also need flexible and affordable childcare.

“Construction and engineering careers can be incredibly satisfying and are vital if Scotland is to create the jobs our society needs in housing, oil and gas decommissioning and renewables. Scottish Greens will continue to push for training and employment that delivers good wages for young women, not just men.”

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