Diversity in the ITP Sector

It has been over 3 years since the publication of the Parker Review. The review encouraged UK boards to better reflect the diversity of their employees and the communities and customers they serve.  We examine what, if anything, has changed in the ITP Sector.

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It has been over 3 years since the publication of the Parker Review. The review encouraged UK boards to better reflect the diversity of their employees and the communities and customers they serve.  We examine what, if anything, has changed in the ITP Sector.

The release of the second annual update to the Parker Review on UK board diversity makes for an uncomfortable read with regards to progress in improving UK boardroom diversity… but how does the ITP sector fare?

In October 2017, the Parker Review (led by Sir John Parker, then Chair of Anglo American plc, in association with Ernst & Young and Linklaters), set a ‘One by 2021’ target in their final report, giving FTSE100 companies four years to ensure at least one director from an ethnic minority sat on the board.

The report encouraged UK boards to better reflect the diversity of their employees and the communities and customers they serve.

In the most recent report, 37% of the 83 FTSE100 companies surveyed had no ethnic minority representation on their boards. Only 11 additional companies have made new, diverse appointments.

Of 83 FTSE100 companies surveyed, 37% had no ethnic minority representation on their boards.

Given the value and importance of diversity in the workplace, it does raise the question of why, despite the findings of the review and other influential research papers, is further investment in diversity at Board level is not being seen as a business priority?

McKinsey’s influential report “Diversity Matters” suggests organisations whose diversity better reflects that of their customer base are better positioned to distinctively serve their customers.

Considering these benefits, we were interested in exploring senior-level diversity in the independent training sector, and how Boards and Senior Leadership Teams in particular reflect their stakeholders – specifically, their apprentices.

"Inclusion and diversity [is] a source of competitive advantage, and... a key enabler of growth."

McKinsey. Delivering through Diversity

Improving apprentice diversity is key to ensuring equal opportunities for access to training. In 2016, with the publication of “English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision”, the government made a commitment to increase the proportion of apprenticeship starts by people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds by 20% by 2020.

Several other initiatives have been established to promote apprenticeships to under-represented groups, including BAME, those with disabilities, women and people from a disadvantaged background. Improving Diversity.

Between 2017 and 2019, there has been a 54% proportional increase in female technical and engineering apprenticeship starts.

The overall picture demonstrates that female apprentices have increased from 20% to 23.6% across all apprenticeship categories.

“It is vital that ... diverse employers ... come together to pledge to do more to ensure apprenticeships are truly open to everyone”

Robert Halfon, then Minister of State for Skills

Apprenticeships in Numbers:

BAME apprenticeship starts
12.3%
Apprentices who are female
50.1%
Apprentices who are Asian
4.6%

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