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This research investigates the feasibility of part-time and flexible apprenticeship models. It suggests that flexible working will help businesses to reach a more diverse candidate pool, and begin to break down gender stereotypes for types of apprenticeships that are traditionally male dominated.
An ambitious government programme is underway to raise the quality and quantity of apprenticeships, funded in part by the new Apprenticeship Levy. It has catapulted apprenticeships to the top of the agenda for many businesses. The benefits to apprentices, to businesses and to our wider economy and society are considerable.
However, access to high quality apprenticeships is uneven. Gender segregation is entrenched, mirroring the inequalities in the labour market that see women over-represented in low paid, low skilled jobs.
Timewise holds that one root cause of this gender inequality is the lack of part-time or flexible apprenticeships. Just one in ten apprentices are contracted for less than 30 hours per week, leaving the training out of reach for many who are unable to work full-time – particularly women, people with caring responsibilities, disabled people and young people leaving the care system.
This report investigates the feasibility of part-time and flexible models of apprenticeships. It is based on research conducted by Learning and Work Institute and Timewise, supported by the Young Women’s Trust and Trust for London.
The research suggests that part-time and flexible apprenticeships can increase access to skills and allow businesses to reach a broader, more diverse candidate pool. An effective programme would include the following critical success factors:
Timewise are now developing a part-time and flexible apprenticeship model which we intend to pilot later this year. Our goal is to build an evidence base to support a scalable part-time and flexible apprenticeship offer.
Published February 2018