Ms Cadbury signed the Early Day Motion, entitled Female Apprentices, which was tabled by Jess Philips Labour MP for Yardley, following a powerful report published by the charity Young Women’s Trust, to coincide with National Apprenticeships Week, last month.
According to Making Apprenticeships Work Better for Young Women female apprentices are missing out at every stage of apprenticeships and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken by employers and Government.
Although women are entering into apprenticeships than men, the report found, they are more likely to achieve poorer outcomes than their male peers. The report also 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.
Ruth Cadbury MP said:
‘Apprenticeships serve a really important role for so many women who want to learn their skill while also working, but the Young Women’s Trust research has revealed that young women are getting a worse deal than their male counterparts both in learning and earning, this is simply wrong. I am supporting the EDM because young women deserve the same diversity of career options, the same quality of teaching and equal pay as their male peers.’
The report also found that young women were woefully under-represented within male-dominated sectors, which tend to be better paid and have better career prospects such as engineering, construction and plumbing.
Young Women’s Trust, which supports and represents young women struggling to live on low or no pay, warns that unless this entrenched gender imbalance is addressed, the UK may be unable to meet the demand for skilled workers in sectors including engineering, where there is a serious shortage.
Making Apprenticeships Work for Young Women makes a number of recommendations to employers and the Government in order to improve apprenticeships for young women, such as ensuring greater availability of flexible and part time apprenticeships and increased pay and financial support such as equal childcare provision and the introduction of a single National Minimum Wage.
Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said:
“We are pleased that Ms Cadbury, has signed this important EDM, ensuring young women get a better deal from apprenticeships. We know that this is an issue which affects young women across the country including Brentford and Isleworth. We look forward to working with Ms Cadbury, and other parliamentarians to raise greater awareness and improve the long terms career prospects of young female apprentices.”