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WISE Campaign Semta ICE


Why is the Toolkit needed?

Whilst women represent over 50% of all apprentices, they represent less than 10% of achievers across STEM frameworks. The percentage of women doing a STEM apprenticeship has remained static since 2012 with just 2% in construction; 3% in engineering and 10% in IT.

What are the barriers for female apprentices?

This toolkit gives guidance and examples on overcoming the key barriers for women, based on research and work in this field. The key stand outs are:

  • Perception about the types of people who work in STEM and the stigma associated with apprenticeships. There is a view that “apprenticeships are for the naughty boys”. We need a fresh approach to attract girls – talking to them about the type of person they are and showing them women with similar personality types who have found their dream job, thanks to a science or technology qualification is a great way to get them interested.
  • Recruitment literature doesn’t excite or inspire women. Unconscious bias in the system can filter women out at different points in the recruitment process. The engage section of this toolkit will help you address these issues.
  • Being in a minority can put women off or make it harder to sustain the course.
  • Getting a foot on the ladder - women can struggle to get their first job in male dominated sectors, get disheartened and then look outside STEM sectors where there are more openings for women.

What is in this toolkit?

This toolkit is for anyone who wants to employ or train apprentices in science, technology, engineering or construction and is packed with insights, practical advice and case studies. Find out about the Levy including within the devolved nations, and more about the business case for improving diversity in apprenticeships. A few steps can dramatically change the face of your recruitment. It is not always a quick process; we have to change decades of preconceived ideas. But this apprenticeship toolkit will help you create a clear plan of action covering the key stages from successful recruitment to supporting and retaining apprentices into a long-term STEM career. It is divided into four sections, Attract, Engage, Support and Retain.

What support is there?

WISE has created this Apprenticeship Toolkit in partnership with ICE and Semta. We all share the same commitment to getting more women into STEM through apprenticeships and all offer training, guidance and support. Contact us to find out more and we will ensure you get the help you need to hit your own targets.

WISE campaigns for gender balance in science, technology and engineering (STEM). Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to get more women into STEM through vocational training linked to jobs in areas of high demand such as digital skills, advance manufacturing, engineering and the built environment. Women who choose STEM apprenticeships love what they do and often do very well, yet colleges and employers often struggle to recruit women onto their engineering or technology apprenticeship programmes. We have put together this toolkit of practical advice and good practice to help you to attract, engage, support and retain women on STEM apprenticeship programmes. We want it to be a live resource. Please share your experiences and case studies with us so that we can keep the site up to date.

Semta is an employer-led not-for-profit organisation that acts as the collective skills voice of employers in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. The skills challenges facing our sector are well documented; we need more than 800,000 new engineers to replace workers who will reach retirement age within the next decade alone. At Semta, we strongly promote the value of diversity and equality in engineering, and this is nowhere more important than in apprenticeships. Women and other under-represented groups are a huge potential talent pool we must harness. Many of the employers we represent are thinking hard about how to increase the diversity of their workforce and this toolkit offers a practical solution and invaluable support. Our Semta Skills Awards 2017 Best of British Engineering winner is a brilliant young female apprentice and through the creation of the toolkit, we hope to create an even stronger pool of talented young women who might follow in her footsteps.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a registered charity that strives to promote and progress civil engineering. We believe that civil engineers are at the heart of society, shaping the world by delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise. We are a qualifying body, a centre for the exchange of specialist knowledge, and a provider of resources to encourage innovation and excellence in the profession worldwide.

AVEVA is proud to sponsor the WISE Apprentice Toolkit. Our organisation recognises the important role that apprenticeships play in our future to help address the skills gap we are facing as a nation. As AVEVA was recently named one of the Top 100 Apprentice employers in the recent National Apprentice Awards, the Apprenticeship Toolkit is instrumental in helping us to encourage more young people, especially young women, to take up STEM apprenticeships.

As a long standing Apprentice employer and founding member of the 5% club, Babcock are committed to having 5% of our UK workforce on structured training schemes as we know that Apprentices offer significant long-term benefit to our organisation. That’s why we offer Apprenticeship programmes that provide inspiring opportunities to unlock the great potential of young people. At Babcock, we don’t support diversity to be nice. We believe that diversity, and in this case gender diversity, is imperative to the future success of our business. We are therefore delighted to support the creation of the WISE Apprenticeship toolkit to encourage young female talent to pursue, succeed and fulfil their potential in careers within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

EDF Energy is committed as an organisation to anticipating the long-term transformation underway in our country and society. The challenges ahead are enormous, and this is why we focus attention on the future generations who will lead on these challenges. We are engaging young people to take up STEM subjects, with a particular focus on reducing the gender gap in our industry. An employer of apprentices for over 20 years, EDF Energy currently operates 5 apprenticeship schemes. The largest of these is the Engineering Maintenance Apprenticeship (EMA), which provides the skills, attitudes and behaviours required to safely operate and maintain our power stations.

Work can now begin on Britain’s new railway after the first phase of the route between the Midlands and London secured Royal Assent last month. High Speed Two (HS2) will create around 2,000 apprenticeships and apprentices will develop skills in areas such as engineering and project management, while getting paid to play a part in building Europe’s largest infrastructure scheme which will create more space on our congested railways for passengers and freight and improve connections between the biggest cities and regions. HS2 Ltd is keen to encourage a diverse range of candidates. The vacancies are open to everyone from school leavers to parents returning to work, or those looking for a new challenge. We support this toolkit to increase the diversity of our apprentices.

Rolls-Royce is a pre-eminent engineering & technology company focused on world-class power and propulsion systems. Our vision is to create better power for a changing world. To do this we need the skill, passion and innovation of our 50,000 people across the globe and many more like them. To develop this into a reality, we need people who want to help shape the future of global power. In 2016 we recruited 274 graduates and 327 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes. Our apprenticeships cover all areas of business from engineering to accounting. Today in the UK we have more than 600 apprentices on our schemes. Through the toolkit we hope to see more diverse young people enter apprenticeship in Rolls-Royce, across the sector and the wider society.

No other city is as recognised by its transport system as London. Its red buses, black cabs and Tube Trains are known the world over. The services we operate include London Underground, London Buses, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, TfL Rail, London Trams, London River Services, London Dial-a-Ride, Victoria Coach Station, Santander Cycles and the Emirates Air Line. Every day more than 31 million journeys are made across our network. We offer apprenticeships from Level 2 all the way to degree level and the opportunities available range from engineering and project management, to finance, technology and more. TfL is working to build a diverse workforce that reflects the city that it serves and to encourage innovation, this includes inspiring more women into the transport industry, which is why we are supporting the Apprenticeship Toolkit.

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