School leavers are missing out on potential apprenticeship opportunities because they mistakenly believe that they are in so called ‘traditional’ gender specific careers, according to new research.
A nationwide study of 16 to 18 year olds by insurer Prudential found that nearly two thirds believe most apprenticeship opportunities are in sectors characterised by largely male workforces, like construction, manufacturing, agriculture and IT.
Their parents share their views as one in three believe apprenticeships are more suitable for boys, while just one in eight think they are more suitable for girls, with two thirds willing to encourage their sons to consider apprenticeship opportunities compared to 57 per cent who would encourage their daughters to pursue an apprenticeship.
Prudential, which has recruited over 199 apprentices, says government data shows apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles covering more than 170 industries from advertising to youth work and from environmental engineering to the legal sector and the gender split between successful applicants is slightly weighted towards women. Nearly 900,000 people start apprenticeships schemes each year.
However the Prudential research shows 52% of male school leavers think most apprenticeship opportunities involve manual labour while 61% of female students think apprenticeship opportunities for women are in gender stereotypical roles like nursing, health and beauty and childcare.
The majority of both male (56 per cent) and female (65 per cent) students are not aware of which employers offer apprenticeship opportunities, says Prudential.