I have backed calls for apprenticeships to work better for young women. I signed Early Day Motion 1313: Women Apprentices, which follows a powerful report by the Young Women's Trust showing that women apprentices are missing out at every stage of apprenticeships and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken by employers and Government.
The report, Making Apprenticeships Work Better for Young Women, found that:
- Young women apprentices receive less pay than men - £4.82 an hour compared to £5.85 for men, making women on average £2,000 worse off a year.
- Young women apprentices report receiving less training than men - 23% of women received no training compared to 12% of men.
- 65% of young women apprentices are concentrated in just five sectors, whereas the same percentage of young men apprentices work in double the number of sectors, giving male apprentices greater career options.
- 16% of women apprentices have said they were out of work following their apprenticeship, compared to just 6% of men.
I am lucky enough to have employed three great young women apprentices in my office in the last six years, who have all used it as a springboard to successful careers. I’ve also looked at the importance of apprenticeships to young people and businesses as part of my work in Parliament. But the Young Women’s Trust’s report shows shocking gender imbalance across the country; that male apprentices are more likely than their female counterparts to get higher pay, receive more training and find jobs afterwards. This just isn’t fair and the Government must do all they can to address it.