Just three per cent of engineering apprentices are women because of an unconscious bias from teachers, parents and employers.

This downloadable guide, harnesses the experiences of young women in engineering and is part of a campaign by the union to bust myths and encourage more young women into engineering and science apprenticeships. 

Only seven per cent of the UK’s engineering workforce are women, the lowest in the European Union, according to Unite, which warns that gender stereotyping in apprenticeships is stifling ambition and depriving the UK economy of vital skills and talent. 

Unite head of equalities Siobhan Endean said: “Unconscious bias from teachers, parents and employers combined with outdated myths are deterring the women engineers of tomorrow.  

“Young women are more likely to be encouraged to take up careers in hairdressing and social care than science and engineering. If we are to get the 87,000 new apprentices that the UK economy needs in engineering every year for the next decade, then we need to tackle the gender stereotyping of apprenticeships.  

“The myths of engineering being unsafe, dirty work which women aren’t strong enough to do are from a bygone age. Unite works hard with our members and employers to secure decent pay and good apprenticeships with high level skills and the prospect of a real job at the end of it. 

“There is a huge wealth of untapped potential among the nation’s young women which parents and teachers need to encourage and employers need to harness.  

“As part of our campaign we will be working with them and using the experiences of the women engineers of today to inspire the women engineers and scientists of tomorrow.” 

Download the guide in PDF here

WISE, the campaign to promote women in science, technology and engineering: