Apprenticeship subjects still demonstrate gender splits, research finds

Gender biases are as strong as ever when it comes to apprenticeship applications, with male candidates opting for typically male-dominated careers and females choosing the traditionally feminine courses.

Those are the findings of research from apprenticeship matchmaking platform GetMyFirstJob, which has more than 230,000 people on its database.

It found that of the male applicants registered, 91 per cent were interested in construction and 90 per cent in engineering courses, compared with just 9 per cent and 10 per cent of female applicants respectively.

For female candidates, 87 per cent were interested in apprenticeships in childcare and the same proportion in hairdressing, compared with 13 per cent of males.


‘New economy’ roles prove popular

Financial services and accountancy apprenticeships were most popular overall. For every apprenticeship vacancy in financial services, there were 54 applicants, while 36 people applied for every accountancy apprenticeship.

Business administration courses are also proving popular among the site’s registered users, with roles attracting 10 applicants each.

Founder and managing director of GetMyFirstJob, David Allison, said: “Whilst attitudes towards apprenticeships have become more positive and the increase of higher and degree level apprenticeships make them the right choice for many more people, it is clear from our data that there are some significant gender differences in perception and aspiration.”


Imbalance needs to be addressed

“Our data shows the huge popularity of ‘new economy’ and IT roles for young people in 2016 as opposed to the more stereotypical roles of plumbing and construction, which have conditioned perceptions for too long.

“More work needs to be done amongst schools, colleges and training providers to ensure everyone involved understands the opportunity that apprenticeships offer young people.

“This involves challenging the many established stereotypes about what an apprenticeship is, and who should consider them.”