Equality and diversity in apprenticeships
The Welsh Government's apprenticeship programme is committed to fairness, inclusion, equality and diversity.
In other words, equality and diversity is a value at the heart of the curriculum and our team work closely with employers and apprentices, striving for inclusion.
Everyone is welcome in the world of apprenticeships, regardless of your financial circumstances or background. The Welsh Government asks employers to help apprentices fulfil their potential, participate fully and stand against discrimination. They must uphold the Equality Act 2010.
World Mental Health Day 2021
Research from the World Federation for Mental Health has revealed that people from low-income backgrounds have few opportunities to access the mental health support they need. Subsequently, they experience stigma and discrimination which "affects their educational opportunities, current and future earning and job prospects..."
As an apprenticeship provider, we want to create as many opportunities as possible to support our learners to achieve. After all, you do your best work when you're healthy and happy. This Mental Health Day, we're thinking about how can we support mental health in an unequal world.
Time To Change Champions
The TSW team had a special opportunity to become mental health advocates, training with charity, Time to Change Wales.
TSW signed the Time To Change Pledge in 2019, shortly before the UK plunged into lockdown, introducing barriers for its apprentices that would isolate them from their mentors and learning environments.
In the Time To Change Champion Training was Head of Quality, Sarah Elston, Training Advisors Hayley Lewis, Cara Hooper, Susan Hampson, Abigail John, Jane Oates, and Marketing Executive, Anna Wintle.
During the Training, TSW's Time To Change Champions discovered how to listen to and support apprentices and colleagues struggling with their mental health, and to challenge stigma and discrimination.
"When we talk about equality and diversity," explains Sue Hampson, "the training showed us how to change mindsets. Those suffering with mental health issues are not different to us and should not be treated that way. We shouldn't avoid them."
Day-to-day, our champions raise awareness of wellbeing and promote healthy lifestyles, encouraging positive mental health.
What is the Equality Act 2010?
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.
Employers must improve access to learning by ensuring equality and equity of opportunity. That means they have formal policies and procedures that safeguard equal opportunities for new and existing apprentices. They also need to take appropriate action to tackle discriminatory behaviour by learners, staff or managers.
They actively protect groups that are currently under-represented on the apprenticeship programme by removing the barriers in their way, creating a fairer working world for everyone.
Marriage and Civil Partnerships
- Civil partnerships must be treated in the same way as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.
- Same sex marriages are now also permitted by law.
- A person’s attraction towards their own sex, the opposite sex or more than one sex.
- Treating a man or woman less favourably for reasons relating to their gender.
- Treating someone less favourably relating to their age (whether young or old).
Religion and Belief
- Affects life choices or the way in which someone chooses to live.
- Refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour and nationality.
Pregnancy and Maternity
- A person is protected against discrimination once the employer knows that they are pregnant.
- From this point they are protected against unfair treatment and unfair dismissal because of the pregnancy.
- The process of transferring from one gender to another.
- A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
If you have any concerns regarding equality, the EHRC can be contacted on 0845 604 8810.