Give Girls a Go Report

Female modern apprentices in New Zealand (pdf)
01 Aug 2006

Young women from different areas of New Zealand talk openly about their experiences of Modern Apprenticeships and trades training in this report published by the Human Rights Commission, Te Kāhui Tika Tangata. Their employers and others also speak about what motivated them to hire women as builders, joiners, glaziers, sign writers, electricians, motor cycle technicians and panel beaters.

New Zealand’s current labour skills shortage and the Government’s commitment to expand Modern Apprenticeship numbers to 14,000 by December 2008 make this report timely. An additional $34.4 million was allocated in Budget 2006 over the next four years to expand the scheme. Two thousand Modern Apprentices have now completed their training and as at 31 March 2006, there were 8,838 Modern Apprentices. Employers will have to think laterally about the recruitment of apprentices to address the skill gaps. The traditional underrepresentation of women in non-traditional work represents a significant opportunity for improved female participation and increased diversity of the Modern Apprenticeships scheme. The female Modern Apprentices believe they have made the right choice even though some of them have faced difficulties in pursuing their vocational choices.

The report shows that the young women profiled believe that their Modern Apprenticeships will set them up for a secure, debt-free future, with a valued qualification, sought after skills and the prospect of owning their own businesses or of self employment. They also talk about the options of combining work in their chosen areas with family life. The employers who were interviewed also dispel the myth that male employers are reluctant to “give girls a go”. It is hoped that their voices and the benefits they have identified from employing women will be heard by other employers wanting to recruit apprentices.

A background paper discussing aspects of the Modern Apprenticeships scheme and its outcomes is included in this report and material on how much apprentices may earn has also been compiled. It is hoped the report will be widely used by young women, their parents, employers, schools, careers advisers, industry training organisations, Modern Apprenticeships coordinators, tertiary institutions, trade unions, employer’s groups and the news media.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018