Lib Dems demand gender equality for Scottish apprenticeships

Lib Dems solidify support behind tackling pay inequality

ALL public funded apprenticeships should have to reach a target of 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women, especially in engineering according to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

The amendment, which was part of their gender pay motion, was carried at their autumn conference in Dunfermline in which the party demanded that the Scottish Government set the targets and negotiate with industry.

Speakers from the party branches of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey also called for a commission to assess gender balance in business boardrooms.

“Women working in Scotland are more likely to be concentrated in certain industries, and roles predominately done by women are underpaid.” Carolyn Caddick

Councillor Carolyn Caddick, Lib Dem spokesperson for the economy said: “Women working in Scotland are more likely to be concentrated in certain industries, and roles predominately done by women are underpaid.

“We believe that a gender pay gap is totally against the principles of our party which rejects all discrimination based on colour, race, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and is determined to fight to cosign the gender pay gap to history.”

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During the debate, delegates pointed to the £2000 gender pay gap in apprenticeships between men and women in the UK. This disparity in pay more generally in the workpace overwhelmingly affects women who are older, black and ethnic minority or those in skilled and higher paying professions.

Apprenticeships, that have state funding across the UK, are severely imbalanced in terms of the number of men and women often found in high paying sectors. Over 94 per cent of engineering apprenticeships are men and 95 per cent of health and social care apprenticeships are women.

Estimates by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggest that unless concerted intervention is made in certain sectors that the pay gap will take 50 years to be equalised.

Picture courtesy of Equate 

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