Report calls for further representation of female apprentices in male-dominated sectors

There is still gender imbalance in some professions

There is still gender imbalance in some professions

A recent report ‘Women in the Workplace’ published by the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee has called for the government to set private contractor targets to increase the number of female apprentices in male-dominated professions. The report also calls for further representation of vocational qualifications and more females working in science, mathematics and technology sectors.

Although figures from the National Apprenticeship Service show a higher number of female to male apprenticeships from level two onwards, they also highlight gender imbalance in certain sectors . For example, in 2011/12 only 12% of apprentices in industrial sectors were female.

The report said: “The government should use the opportunities presented by the procurement of goods and services from the private sector to advance equality for women. They should produce an annual statement to illustrate the way in which government contracts have been used to achieve this aim.

“The government should make this provision more widely known to employers, with the potential to enable workforces to become more diverse and more representative of the communities that they serve.

“As with the government targets for the number of women on boards, targets should be set by the government to encourage women to explore more atypical work sectors, especially in those sectors that have a skills shortage.”