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Diversity in Apprenticeships

This innovative pilot project, delivered between 2010 and 2011, was built on a partnership between the UKRC and a core of major employers who train and employ apprentices in the energy sector.

It also brought together, as advisors, key organisations who have an interest in apprenticeships and can provide both expert advice in respect of the barriers to more diverse apprenticeships. The project was funded by the National Apprenticeship Service.

The project aimed to:

  • Facilitate an increase in the numbers of female apprentices within the craft, technical and professional areas of the energy industry including green/clean energy initially over a one year period of the project with a sustainable model for the future.
  • Ensure sustainability of initiatives by embedding practices within organisations.
  • Focus on the barriers to the recruitment and retention of female apprentices.

The energy sector was chosen because:

  • It is an industry which will be affected by the changing demographic of an ageing workforce. These potential skills shortages will become critical in the coming years as the programme to further develop national infrastructure in energy generation progresses.
  • The development of renewable energy is central to the future energy needs of the UK and is high on the national agenda. Addressing the gender imbalance at the early stages of this development increases the likelihood of a more diverse work force in the future.

Partners involved in the project

The core partners in the project were energy companies, E.ON, British Gas, National Grid and Drax Power, and advisory organisations, Cogent SSC Ltd, National Skills Academy for Nuclear, National Skills Academy for Power, The National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies, and Lomax Training Services Ltd.

Watch a video of partners from EoN, British Gas and National Grid, talking about the benefits of working with the UKRC on the Diversity in Apprenticeships project.

Outcomes of the project

Apprentices - guide for organisations

Good Practice Guide
'Apprentices: Recruiting and retaining female and black, Asian and minority ethnic apprentices in science, engineering and technology'.
This guide is aimed at all organisations involved in the attraction, recruitment and retention of apprentices in the science, engineering, technology and the built environment sectors. 
Download the guide

Case Studies (pdf)
1. The Business Case for Increasing the Diversity of Apprentices in the Energy Sector
2. Best Practice in Attracting Atypical Applicants to Apprenticeships
3. Best Practice in the Recruitment Process for Atypical Apprentices
4. Best Practice in Running Female Only Open Days for Apprenticeships

How to prepare for an assessment centre
The module includes information and quizzes, and films of employers and apprentices giving their advice about the assessment centre process and what the benefits are of doing an apprenticeship in engineering.
View the videos on YouTube

Apprenticeships for Girls: A Guide for Parents
A guide to help parents understand the benefits of their daughter doing an apprenticeship in STEM.
Download the Guide

Apprentice Mentoring: Mentee Training Manual
This manual will help you to find out more about what mentoring is, how it can help you, and how to get the most from your mentoring relationship. You can use this manual to refer to as you move through your mentoring relationship, as a useful reminder at each stage, and there are a number of useful forms that you can copy and use to record information and progress. In the first few weeks of your Apprenticeship, your new employer might offer you a mentor to help you settle in and to support you in getting the most from your learning. This mentoring relationship may last from a few months or to the end of your Apprenticeship.
Download the Manual

'Good Practice Evaluation of the Diversity in Apprenticeship Pilots'
This report describes all the pilot projects funded by NAS.

Please note: Some of the the links/email addresses within the above documents/websites may now be out of date.

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