Gendered information landscapes and their impact on routes into and through apprenticeships

  The aim is to understand the myriad sources of gender stereotyping that impact on young people’s choices around apprenticeships and work-based learning (WBL). First, by a policy and literature review around occupational segregation in apprenticeships, including data from other countries; then investigating young people’s situated experience of information related to apprenticeships and its influence on their choices. This will support Skills Development Scotland to build policies and strategies to promote equality in apprenticeships.
Scottish apprenticeships provide important new learner pathways, incorporating work experience, potentially from S5 to degree level. However, subjects, careers, and apprenticeships themselves are often seen in gendered terms, by potential apprentices and those involved in advice, recruitment, and delivery. Crucial sectors, such as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and HEED (health care, elementary education, and the domestic sphere) suffer from self-propagating gender imbalances, reflected in the related apprenticeships. Meanwhile, apprenticeships tend to be seen as stereotypically male, despite extensive modernisation.
By synthesising extant research and gathering new data, this research will map the information landscapes young people in Scotland move through, in terms of apprenticeships. The information landscapes paradigm recognises that people encounter and pay attention to different forms and sources of information, tacit or explicit, formal or informal, etc. Differences may be due to social groups, such as class or gender, or may be individual. Salient information is as likely to come from YouTube as from a careers advisor. Using a mixed methods approach, empirical data will be gathered from young people, including apprentices, about their experiences and perspectives, looking back on their choices and influences. The mapping paradigm encourages participatory and creative methods.
This doctoral study will provide a rich and accessible depiction of young people’s situated experience of gender stereotyping in terms of apprenticeships, informing effective strategies to promote workplace equality.

  • Start Date:

    1 October 2022

  • End Date:

    30 September 2025

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Skills Development Scotland, Economic and Social Research Council

  • Value:

    £57117

Project Team