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Summary: Gender and Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning

Summary: Gender and Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning

  • Over half (56%) of students in Higher Education in 2014-15 were women.

  • In Higher Education in 2014-15, most students in Science and Engineering subjects were men (63.9%), while most students were women in Medical Studies (75.7%), Business and Social Studies (61.2%) and Education and the Arts (67.7%).

  • The subject areas with the largest proportion of students who were men were Computer Science (81.8% men) and Engineering and Technology (85.0% men). The subject areas with the largest proportion of women students were Education (75.3% women) and subjects allied to Medicine (80.5%).

Source: Higher Education Students and Qualifiers at Scottish Institutions 2014-15


  • In 2014-15, students in Further education were more evenly split than those in HE. 51% of students in Further Education were women and 49% were men.

  • Considering those of working age (18-64 for men, 18-59 for women), the subject groups with the largest proportion of men students were Nautical Studies (93% men) and Engineering (92% men). The subject groups with the largest proportion of women were Care (73% women) and Hairdressing, Beauty and Complimentary Therapies (95% women)

Source: Learning for All 2016, Scotland’s Colleges: A Baseline Report 2014-15


  • In 2015/16, there were more men starting Modern Apprenticeships than women (59% of new starts were men).

  • In 2015/16, 74% of Modern Apprenticeship frameworks had a gender balance of 75:25 or worse.

  • In 2015/16, the framework groupings with the highest proportion of men were Automotive (97%), Construction & Related (98%), Other Manufacture (98%). The framework groupings with the highest proportion of women were Administration & Related (28%), Sport, Health & Social Care (16%), and Personal Services (91%).

Source: Modern Apprenticeship Statistics Full Year Report 2015-16


  • In 2015-16, young men were slightly less likely than women to be in positive destinations. 91.0% of 16-19 year old women were participating in education, employment, training or other development, compared to 89.7% of 16-19 year old men.

  • Young women were more likely to be in education (75.9%) than young men (66.9%)

  • Young men were more likely to be participating in employment (20.3%) than young women (13.4%).

Source: Annual Participation Measure 2016, Skills Development Scotland


Useful Links

Gender page

Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning

national Performance Framework

National Performance Framework

Fifty National Indicators enable progress towards the achievement of the National Outcomes and ultimately the delivery of the Purpose to be tracked.

Indicators are chosen to show how the Scottish Government are progressing on the range of Outcomes.

National Indicator number 8: Improve the skill profile of the population, data table

National Indicator numer 12: Increase the proportion of young people in learning, training or work, data table

National Indicator number 13: Increase the proportion of graduates in positive destinations, data table

- progress against these National Indicators, broken down by select equality characteristics can be found under the 'What more do we know about the National indicator?' heading.

External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site.

The Scottish Funding Council collect information on:
Higher Education statistics

Further Education Statistics


Skills Development Scotland collect information on

Modern Apprenticeship statistics



Employability, Skills and Lifelong Learning



0300 244 6774