The number of women achieving a Core-STEM apprenticeship has increased by 320 – a 7% growth on the previous year. The proportion has gone up slightly, reversing the more recent trend, as the number of men has increased by only 5%. 

However, women are still only 8.2% of the total starting a Core-STEM apprenticeship. Put another way, more than 9 out of 10 STEM apprentices are men. 

There is also a noticeable difference between women’s representation at different apprenticeship levels. Women achieve just 6% of Advanced Apprenticeships in core-STEM , but represent 11% of achievements of Higher Apprenticeships. 

WISE are keen to explore the reasons behind these disparities, we encourage organisations who work with or train apprenticeships to get in touch and share their experiences. 


The number of women achieving an Engineering & Manufacturing Technologies apprenticeship has increased by 330. Women’s representation in this category has risen to 7% compared with 6.8% in 2015/16. 

There has been a small decrease in the number of women achieving Information and Communication Technology apprenticeships – down to 1360. This represents a drop in representation from 15.9% to 14.4% over the year. 

In Construction, Planning and the Built Environment apprenticeships there has been a 33% increase in the number of women achievers to 240. Women’s representation has increased marginally to 2.0%. 


Women starting Core-STEM apprenticeships during 2016/17 still only represent 8% of total Core-STEM apprenticeship starters. 

Women represent 53% of apprenticeship starts across all frameworks, but the majority of these women start apprenticeships in occupations that have traditionally been female-dominated (see chart below). This implies that it is not concerns about the apprenticeship route that deters women from pursuing STEM apprenticeships but is an issue specific to STEM sectors. To find out how your organisation can help encourage more women to start STEM apprenticeships, use the guidance and case studies that can be found in our Apprenticeship Toolkit.