Women in Apprenticeships

Women make up over half of learners in government-funded further education and skills training. Of a total of 1,071,900 learners in this academic year, 2023/24, 58.3% of those are women.

Although it may seem that apprenticeship uptake is fairly even between genders, there are certain industries in which the statistics do not reflect this. The Construction and Engineering industries have historically been male-dominated. In recent years, there has been a conscious effort to try to redress the balance. However, in 2022 only 7.35% of apprentices in the construction sector were women.

The challenges do not stop there. The Office of National Statistics from 2022 demonstrate that only 14% of all positions in the construction sector are held by women and only 1% are in skilled roles. Engineering fairs slightly better with 16.5% of positions being held by women but it’s still under a fifth of the whole workforce.

There is one area of the broader built environment that is bucking the trend. Fire safety and the recruitment of new fire safety inspectors have become an increasing focus for the industry following the Grenfell disaster and the subsequent introduction of the Building Safety Act 2022. At Xact Consultancy and Training, we have seen a significant increase in the levels of interest in our apprenticeship course across the board. We are proud that 27% of all our apprentices are women- almost a four-fold increase on the general trend in the construction sector.

It is also fantastic to see the broad age spectrum that our course attracts; 45% of our apprentices are between the ages of 40 and 49 and 9% are between 50 and 54. This demonstrates that our courses are designed for anyone looking to either increase their professional skills or to completely change their career path. Our two-year Level 4 apprenticeships have been running since March 2023 and we have a 100% retention rate. If you would like to find out more about the apprenticeship opportunities available to you through Xact, visit our Apprenticeship Overview.

We are delighted that so many women are beginning to enter the built environment through apprenticeships. Fire safety can offer excellent opportunities and benefits to women looking to move into a new career.

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