Call to challenge gender equality in apprenticeships

James Corry
James Corry

The STUC will press the Scottish government to work with them to tackle gender inequality in apprenticeships and to encourage women to take on apprenticeships in under-represented sectors.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary also committed to taking up incidents of abuse in the apprenticeship sector in his capacity as a board member of Skills Development Scotland.

Seconding the motion from the STUC Youth Conference, James Corry, from UNISON’s Skills Development Scotland branch told Congress that careers’ staff have a key role in combating all types of inequality in apprenticeships, by helping young people to think through their options at an early stage.

He reminded delegates that whilst more needs to be done to encourage women to consider and undertake apprenticeships in under represented occupational sectors, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the issue of under representation within apprenticeships covers a whole host of under represented groups including young people with disabilities and looked after children.

He called for all school pupils to be better prepared for employment and better informed in career choice.

James said, “It is clear to our members who are professionally qualified careers advisers that this will only be achieved by ensuring that all pupils have made a well informed choice before commencing any vocational pathway in their senior phase of schooling.

“Thus, when at the stage of considering new upper school options such as Foundation Modern Apprenticeships adequate resources should be in place to ensure all school pupils have regular access to face to face advice and guidance on a one to one basis with a Careers Guidance professional.

“This will provide the crucial support young people need to integrate these experiences into their career management skills and their personal future plans.

“UNISON believes all our careers practitioners in SDS have a fundamental partnership role to play in addressing the inequalities many disadvantaged groups face in accessing and securing apprenticeship opportunities.”

He urged the Scottish Government to adequately resource front line career guidance services and concentrate on what leading academics have proven actually works.

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