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Apprenticeships seen as a “man’s world” by young people and their parents in Scotland

  • New survey findings show parents in Scotland are more likely to advise boys to take on an apprenticeship
  • During Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Scottish Gas is urging more girls to consider apprenticeships as a career option

Scottish Gas is opening its doors during Scottish Apprenticeship Week (18 – 22 May) to give parents and young people in Scotland the chance to find out about apprenticeships in engineering.

The open day, taking place on Monday (18 March) at the Scottish Gas Academy in Hamilton, comes as new research from Scottish Gas reveal that parents in Scotland are almost twice as likely (20%) to advise boys to take on an apprenticeship compared to girls (11%).

In the independent national survey* polling teens and parents, further findings in Scotland showed:

  • Just under a third of parents (32%) admitted offering their children differing career advice depending on their gender.
  • When asked about careers in engineering, only 8% of parents said they would like their daughter to pursue this line of work. By contrast, 20% selected engineering as their preferred career choice for their son.
  • Only 17% of girls view an apprenticeship as a viable option for themselves. Yet almost twice as many teenage boys (30%) are keen to go straight from school into an apprenticeship scheme.

Scottish Gas, which has trained 500 apprentices from across Scotland since opening the doors to its academy in Hamilton five years ago, is urging more girls to consider an apprenticeship. Explaining its recruitment drive, the company said in 2014 only 3.3% of applicants for its competitive technical and engineering apprenticeship schemes were female.

John Lochrie, former Scottish Gas apprentice and now Operations Director for HomeCare Services at Scottish Gas commented: “It’s clear from this research that apprenticeships are still regarded as something of a man’s world among young people.

“Apprenticeships are a great way into an organisation. A Scottish Gas apprenticeship allows you to earn while you learn and encourages you to develop skills for life. I’d encourage all girls thinking about their future career, or looking for employment, to consider attending the open day at our academy here in Hamilton.”

Scottish Gas’ survey also reveals concerns with careers advice for both teenage girls and boys:

  • Just over two fifths of teenage girls (43%) polled in Scotland complained of receiving unhelpful advice (38% of teenage boys shared the same complaint.)
  • Poor careers advice has resulted in teenage girls limiting their own career choices. Almost two thirds (64%) of teenage girls across Scotland surveyed said they had never considered a career in engineering.
  • Meanwhile, young people in Scotland felt teenage girls were best suited to careers in: nursing (67%), beauty & fashion (66%), healthcare & medicine (66%)

Tips for teens interested in an apprenticeship at Scottish Gas:

  1. Head over to www.gov.uk/further-education-skills the official apprenticeship website to discover more about apprenticeships
  2. Keep a close eye on : http://po.st/BGNAW2015 for information on apprenticeship schemes
  3. Attend Scottish Gas’ open day during Scottish Apprenticeship Week. You can register your interest by visiting: http://po.st/BGNAW2015

ENDS

For media information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Ruth Minto, Citypress, ruth.minto@citypress.co.uk / 0131 516 5654

British Gas Case Studies

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:

  • Scottish Gas has around 800,000 residential customers in Scotland and around 750,000 services customers
  • Scottish Gas is a major employer in the region, with around 3,000 people in Scotland and more than 900 engineers working across the region. The company brings around £75 million of wages into the Scottish economy each year
  • Scottish Gas is a major employer of apprentices with hundreds currently in training across Scotland. Across Britain, Scottish Gas employs more than 1,200 apprentices.
  • Scottish Gas has a Training Academy at Hamilton, near Glasgow where apprentices train towards becoming service engineers, smart energy experts and CHI engineers
  • Scottish Gas Scottish Gas receives approximately 50 applications for every apprenticeship it offers.
  • Scottish Gas requires a strong skills base to ensure its engineering skills-base supports the business and customers’ needs
  • Scottish Gas is leading with the roll-out of smart meters in Scotland, with around 117,794 smart meters installed in homes (April 2015)

Methodology

*The survey was conducted among 336 parents and 207 teens aged 15-22. The interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in February & April 2015 using an email invitation and an online survey.

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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