Posted 4 November 2019
With nearly half (49%) of children in single parent households living in poverty, low pay and financial hardship is a critical issue for many single parent families. In-work progression is a key way for single...
Posted 5 March 2019
On the second day of National Apprenticeship Week, Gingerbread publishes a report which demonstrates that most single parents are locked out of apprenticeships due to a lack of part-time opportunities, incompatibility with childcare and being unable to support a family on particularly low pay in the first year of a scheme.
Single parents are ideal candidates to take up apprenticeships, but Gingerbread’s report, Making Apprenticeships and Traineeships Work for Single Parents, has found substantial evidence of barriers that inhibit them from accessing and progressing in these schemes.
“Despite the current government focus on apprenticeships and traineeships there is little evidence that these schemes have had a significant impact on single parents to date. We know single parents want to work and apprenticeships have been positioned as the cornerstone of the government’s work skills agenda,” says Laura Dewar, Policy Officer at Gingerbread.
“With the clock ticking on their target of getting three million people into schemes by 2020 the government has missed an open goal by making apprenticeship schemes incompatible with single parents’ lives and commitments.”
Gingerbread is calling on the Government to:
The report has uncovered some evidence of good practice – for example, the Camden Apprenticeship Pilot for Parents, and the Civil Service commitment to opening up more part-time apprenticeship opportunities. However, to gain scale and impact for single parents, the government needs to improve access to traineeships and offer more routes to apprenticeships.
The reality for single parents is that they are disproportionately concentrated in low paid work and research has shown that once in these jobs, this is where they stay. Apprenticeships and traineeships are one potential route for single parents to increase their skills levels and work experience, and thus their ability to secure better-paid and more sustainable work.
At the start of National Apprenticeship Week, Gingerbread is calling for positive change both in the attitude around traineeships being a potential stepping-stone, and a more inclusive apprenticeship design.