Skip to main content

Apprentices: Manufacturing Industries

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL504, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of female apprentices in the manufacturing sector.

Answered on

7 June 2021

In the 2019/20 academic year, women accounted for 49% of all apprenticeship starts.

The representation of women in science, technology, engineering, construction, digital and maths (STEM) is increasing, in the 2019/20 academic year, women accounted for 11.4% of STEM apprenticeship starts, up from 10.1% in 2018/19 and 8.8% in 2017/18.

We are working with some of the country’s most influential employers in the manufacturing sector through the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network, including Siemens, Bombardier and Rolls-Royce, who are actively increasing female representation in STEM roles. The Network is also seeking to share examples of employer best practice in bringing women onto STEM apprenticeships and successfully retaining them. The Network will report during National Apprenticeship Week 2022 on how to better reach out to target underrepresented groups and improve retention.

Our Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge programme is raising awareness of apprenticeships in schools, encouraging female students to consider apprenticeships in traditionally male dominated fields. This free service provides schools and teachers with resources and interventions to help better educate young people about apprenticeships. We have seen involvement from large employers such as Toyota who delivered interactive live broadcasts to promote careers in STEM to students, increasing their awareness of the available opportunities in the manufacturing industry.