Debates between Baroness Nye and Baroness Berridge during the 2019 Parliament

Apprenticeships: Gender Segregation

Debate between Baroness Nye and Baroness Berridge
Wednesday 11th March 2020

(4 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Nye Portrait Baroness Nye
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of any gender segregation in publicly funded apprenticeships in different (1) sectors, and (2) occupations.

Baroness Berridge Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Department for International Trade (Baroness Berridge) (Con)
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My Lords, we are committed to ensuring that apprenticeships in all sectors and at all levels are accessible to anybody with passion and drive. Overall, there is a good gender balance in apprenticeships, but we want to ensure that more women access apprenticeships in traditionally male-dominated fields and benefit from those that offer the highest returns. Our Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network is championing gender representation in apprenticeships among employers in industries where we know improvement is needed.

Baroness Nye Portrait Baroness Nye (Lab)
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My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for that reply. While apprenticeship diversity champions are a useful tool, I am sure she will agree that gendered job segregation reinforces the pattern of low pay for women. The latest BEIS apprenticeship pay survey shows that women continue to be paid less and trained less and are more likely to be paid below the legal minimum. Does she agree that change needs to happen, and will she consider introducing part-time and flexible apprenticeships, which would help attract more women into higher-paid sectors?

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge
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My Lords, with the growing emphasis on apprenticeships, for a time, of course, these will reflect the existing sector issues, but I have good news for the noble Baroness, because there are part-time apprenticeships, with a 12-month minimum, and people can extend the hours of training and the time of the apprenticeship. We are working very practically with the “Find an apprenticeship” website to encourage it to offer those apprenticeships and highlight them on the website.