Modern Apprentices Mentoring Project

Modern Apprenticeships are well known as a way to open education and employment to young people across Scotland. The Scottish Government has prioritised modern apprentices (MAs) as a way to overcome youth unemployment and increase STEM related work opportunities, however gender segregation in STEM MAs are stark, with young women making up only 1.7% of Construction and 6.1% of Engineering Modern Apprentices. Scotland’s ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ strategy responded to these issues by committing to a focus on STEM, a reduction in gender segregation in STEM MAs, and the development of support networks for young people participating in MAs which are currently heavily gender segregated.

The SDS Equalities Action Plan commits to a number of activities to support delivery on these commitments, including a focus on improving pathways into STEM subjects for young women, and engagement with industry partners to promote positive action in recruitment of young women to non-traditional Modern Apprenticeships. To date, activity has largely focused on recruitment, however there is recognition that there can be a need to provide additional support to young women working within a predominantly male workforce, in order to retain them in their apprenticeships – That’s why Equate Scotland is working with Skills Development Scotland to pilot a Modern Apprentices Mentoring Project.

We will be providing mentoring support to young women modern apprentices in construction and engineering. In partnership with City of Glasgow College, Ayrshire College, EKGTA, along with employers and female MAs, we will explore models of delivery with the aim of increasing career confidence and retention of young women in construction and engineering MAs.

What this project is working on:

  • Providing one to one support for young women modern apprentices.
  • Supporting employment skills development such as writing CVs and identifying strengths.
  • Creating a mentoring blueprint to increase retention of women modern apprentices across Scotland.
  • Supporting employers to create their own mentoring programmes and helping ensure they have an inclusive workplace for young women.