Significant inequality barriers hinder access to apprenticeships in the UK.
In England, apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, with various entry
requirements depending on the sector and job. However, The Three Million Apprenticeships:
Building ladders of opportunity (2017)1 found ‘significant inequalities in apprenticeship
participation’, and noted concern about access barriers. Among these barriers are: low household income; high travel costs; perception of apprenticeships as low value; non-realistic wage; lack of generic apprenticeships; rigid hours; ethnic gaps; and gender stereotypes.
The good news is that many inequalities could be lessened or removed by employer-led changes, which would positively impact future apprentices and future business profits.
This article outlines some practical solutions for employers.