Apprenticeships: equality and diversity

Detailing some of the resources available and our work to advance equality in apprenticeships.

We are committed to making apprenticeships inclusive and accessible to all.

A great deal has already been done towards this goal, but we know that barriers still remain, and that some groups remain under-represented or disadvantaged due to characteristics like their race, sex, disability, learning difficulty, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief.

Apprenticeship diversity champions network: communications toolkit

This toolkit gives employer diversity champions information to engage and inspire communities and other employers to make apprenticeships more diverse. It includes statistics, tips and case studies with a particular focus on increasing the proportion of apprentices from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Employer toolkit for inclusive and accessible apprenticeships

An employer toolkit is available to help employers support disabled apprentices.

It demonstrates the simple and cost-effective actions to make apprenticeship programmes open to disabled apprentices, and the business benefits that follow. Developed by NIACE (the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) with large and small employers from Alan Cooper Cabinetmaker Ltd to Tottenham Hotspur FC and Barclays, the toolkit includes six case studies, and informative and inspiring videos.

Equality and diversity good practice fund

The equality and diversity good practice fund provides grants to SFA-funded providers. Resources and case studies from previous grant-funded projects are available at For example:

  • Newcastle City Council and Twisting Ducks produced a film-based toolkit, to raise awareness about the benefits of apprenticeships and traineeships for learners with learning disabilities.
  • Prostart Training’s Passport to Success programme addressed the under-representation of men on Business Administration apprenticeships by giving one-to-one sessions on employability and interview skills.
  • Realise Futures’ Mind the Gap project addressed the under-representation of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) apprentices in the context of skills, enterprise and employability, and worked with businesses to promote the benefits of a diverse workforce.
  • National Star College’s WorkAble project addressed barriers faced by people with disabilities who wish to work, train in the workplace or carry out work experience by supporting employers to become disability confident.

Apprenticeships for young people with dyslexia

These factsheets for young people with dyslexia, summarise:

  • the support available for Functional Skills and Key Skills qualifications, taken as part of an apprenticeship
  • the access arrangements and assistive technologies available on the course and in exams, and how you can ask for them
  • how you can retake qualifications you may have failed in the past, to complete your apprenticeship.

A fuller factsheet, Apprenticeships in England for young people with dyslexia: Access Arrangements in Functional Skills, was published in July 2014.

  1. Apprenticeships for young people with dyslexia

    • Guidance

Engaging individuals with LDD in workplace learning

Engaging people with learning difficulties and disabilities in workplace learning.

  1. SFA: engaging individuals with LDD in workplace learning

    • Guidance

Evidence and data

We publish extensive data on participation and success rates of different groups in apprenticeships.

  • In 2013, Unionlearn published research on under-representation by gender and race in apprenticeships.

  • In 2012, the Apprenticeships Unit commissioned Creating an inclusive apprenticeship offer, an authoritative report of the data and evidence relating to participation and success of young people aged 16-24 who declare a learning difficulty and/or disability (LDD) in apprenticeships.

  1. Creating an inclusive apprenticeship offer

    • Guidance
  2. FE data library: equality and diversity

    • Statistical data set
  3. FE data library: apprenticeships

    • Statistical data set