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International Men’s Day 2020
International Men’s Day is a grassroots movement that invites members of all genders to celebrate men and boys in all their diversity. It gives everyone in the UK who wants to celebrate International Men’s Day the opportunity to help work towards IMD’s shared objectives and it six key pillars which are applied equally to men and boys irrespective of their age, ability, social background, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, religious belief and relationship status.
At Aspiration Training, we triumph in highlighting diversity throughout all of our sectors and apprenticeships. However, we particularly wanted to pay attention to the associated stereotypes and reasons as to why our Health and Social Care and Childcare sectors have substantially less men than females at present.
In England, we have 395 females on our childcare apprenticeships with only 5 of those learners being male. Equally, we have 389 females on our Health and Social Care apprenticeships with 54 being male.
In Wales, there are 144 learners on a Childcare apprenticeship with only 7 being male and 421 learners accessing Health and Social Care apprenticeships with 40 being male.
Both childcare and health and social care careers have traditionally been associated as being female roles. However, in 2020 why are the numbers so low for males in these sectors and how can we begin to bridge the gender gap and encourage a higher number of males to choose a career within these sectors?
Issues surrounding males in these settings
Firstly, we need to examine some reasons as to why males do not begin on their training courses in these sectors and why at Aspiration Training, male learners are all below 10%.
Gender stereotyping could play a leading role as to why a lot of males have never considered working with children or in a care setting as a viable career option, or have been put off out of fear of being stereotyped. Even in 2020, there is still an attached stigmatisation that working in these settings is a ‘woman’s job’ which not only affects men but women to.
However, numbers of men in primary and secondary school settings are much higher, suggesting that a barrier to consider is in early years settings even though teaching and learning is a critical part of everyday at nurseries.
Here at Aspiration Training, we encourage childcare apprenticeships and health and social care apprenticeships to everyone, regardless of gender. We ensure all of our marketing material is gender neutral when promoting apprenticeships in childcare and apprenticeships in health and social care. Furthermore, we champion diversity with our learners and highlight the importance of more males choosing careers in these sectors. . Our 2019 learner of the year was awarded to Rodney Francis who has proved time and time again how he has excelled in his career in health and social care. You can read his full story here
Benefits of male practitioners in childcare and health & social care
We strongly believe that both men and women have important roles to play in the elderly or a child’s life, particularly in the early years. The most important qualities we look at when recruiting, is a person’s passion and capacity to learn, however, there are some unique benefits that only each gender can bring. It is a shame that there is such a low number of men working in nurseries and care homes, because it means that many children and elderly people are missing out on developing relationships with male figures.
Male role models
As there are so many female nursery practitioners, it’s easy for young children to become familiar and comfortable in trusting them, because they are constantly provided with inspiring female role models outside their homes. Male nursery practitioners, can be vital in providing children with a positive male figure and a more rounded understanding of what being a male adult is all about.
Gender attainment gap
A recent study by Gants Hill Partnership Teaching Alliance contains findings which suggest that a nursery workforce containing more male staff can increase the attainment of boys, helping to close the gender gap in attainment. The research took place within the school’s early years’ provision, where they increased the percentage of male nursery workers to 44% (56% female).
These were the findings:
Boys attainment was 16% higher than the Borough average.
Boys attainment was 8% higher than girls in Personal Social Emotional development
Boys attainment was 3% higher than girls in Communication and Language
Boys attainment was 17% higher than girls in Physical Development
[Source: Gants Hill Partnership Teaching Alliance]
Overall, there are many misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding males working in childcare and health and social care settings which can seriously impact and stunt the growth of men in these sectors. This is demonstrated through the percentage of male learners on apprenticeships , let alone how many men are actually employed in these settings. However, it is vital that men continue to pursue positions in childcare and health and social care settings as they bring a variety of benefits to these sectors and will also continue to break the misguided stereotypes which will encourage more men to go on and follow their dreams.
On International Men’s Day, we would like to encourage more males to consider careers in either childcare or health and social care by doing an apprenticeship in these sectors and helping to improve the lives of others.
You can view our vacancies for both childcare apprenticeship and health and social care apprenticeships here