Apprenticeships not 'just for the boys'

Our new research reveals that men and women get different careers advice

01 March 2014 / Be the first to comment

Men are twice as likely to be encouraged to take an apprenticeship as women, according to new research from the City & Guilds Group.

A survey of more than 2000 young professionals (aged 18 - 34) showed that a third of the men were encouraged to take an apprenticeship in school. Just 17% of women received the same advice, suggesting that girls are still being held back by societal perceptions of the ‘right’ career path for them.

And the divide between the genders doesn't stop there.

Men and women were advised to pursue entirely different occupations, often in line with long-held gender stereotypes. Whilst men were more likely to be encouraged to consider IT and engineering as a career path, women were directed towards nursing, care and teaching.

The difference between the advice was particularly notable in the construction industry, where less than one percent of women were encouraged to make it their career compared to 12% of men.

Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said:

'With skills gaps blighting so many industries in the UK, alongside stubbornly high levels of youth unemployment, we should be worried if industries, or indeed different training programmes, are regarded as ‘male’ or ‘female’. This needs to change. Young people need to know about all of the career opportunities available, so that no career is closed off to them.

'Apprenticeships are available in so many industries – from horticulture to aerospace; animal care to social media. They’re certainly not ‘just for the boys’.’

Former apprentice Tiana Locker, who is now Apprentice Connect Ambassador at City & Guilds, said:

'These research findings really resonate with my own experiences. At school, I was actively dissuaded from taking an apprenticeship and pushed towards university to study teaching. I would have benefited from more comprehensive careers advice during school, as in my experience they tended to fall back on outdated stereotypes. It’s definitely important that girls and boys understand the full range of career opportunities available to them.'

The findings were released ahead of National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week.

See our infographic: Careers advice: girls v boys

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