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Addressing gender segregation in apprenticeships in England

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Purpose - This paper aims to report findings from a UK study funded by the Equal Opportunities Commission to explore gender segregation in apprenticeships in five strongly segregated sectors: construction, plumbing, engineering, information technology (all strongly male-dominated), and child care (female-dominated). The aim of the research was to consider the nature of the barriers preventing young people moving into apprenticeships in these areas of work and to investigate the actions that have been taken by local Learning and Skills Councils to address gender segregation in apprenticeships. Design/methodology/approach - The research consisted of a survey of Local Learning and Skill Councils (the bodies that fund all post-16 learning provision outside higher education in the UK), case study interviews in five geographical regions selected as examples of good practice, and interviews with representatives of Sector Skill Councils. Findings - This paper reports some of the barriers encountered by organisations involved in encouraging young people to enter vocational training and by apprentices themselves, and the actions that organisations have taken to try to encourage more diverse groups of young people to consider apprenticeships in these sectors. Originality/value - This paper is of importance to those wishing to encourage young people to enter into vocational training.

Keywords: Apprenticeships; Equal Opportunities; Gender; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2005


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