Despite the fact that some sectors of industry are facing major skills shortages, the Scottish labour market continues to be characterised by occupational segregation and a large disparity between the wages of women and men. The concentration of individuals in occupations and training based on their gender effectively restricts the pool of potential recruits to industry and is unlikely to make the best use of human capital. Moreover, it obstructs the pursuit of gender equality by reinforcing the gender pay gap and restricting individual career choices. This paper reports on the government's flagship training policy, the Modern Apprenticeship programme, from a gender perspective. It concludes that, ten years on from its introduction, the scheme represents something of a 'missed opportunity' to tackle occupational segregation and its deleterious effects in the wider economy and in society at large. It is recommended that the government and organisations involved in the development and delivery of Modern Apprenticeships adopt a more conscious and cohesive approach to promoting non-traditional choices at the vocational level.
- modern apprenticeship
- occupational segregation