New FI briefing calls for more action to get men into childcare jobs

29 July 2014

The Fatherhood Institute is calling on the UK government to do more to require careers advisers to proactively encourage boys and men into childcare work – as well as supporting girls and women into careers that are not considered traditionally ‘female’.

Figures suggest that only 2% of the UK’s childcare workforce is male*. In Boys and girls, men and women, in non-traditional occupations, written in response to a recent government consultation, the FI outlines strategies to encourage boys/men to undertake caring work, particularly in the childcare sector, including:

  • Recognising that boys and men are actively and passively discouraged from pursuing careers in this sector, even though many would be interested in doing so** – and taking steps to remedy this.
  • Making the positive case for men to work more with young children.  It is usually argued that most men are not risky, and that services need procedures in place to keep children safe.  But there needs to be a positive case put for how young children will benefit from more men looking after them professionally. Such a case needs to be made by careers officers, teachers, employment services, employers, training bodies, family information services etc.
  • Campaigning to support both boys/men and girls/women into non-traditional sectors.  For example, the Apprenticeship Campaign of the “Inspiring Women’ campaign, Inspiring Futures, could include non-traditional apprenticeships for men;  and an “Inspiring Men” campaign could introduce male volunteers into schools to talk about non-traditional job roles, balancing work with childcare / caring, and being an involved father.

We argue that government guidance should require careers advice services to:

  • understand this issue
  • examine their own prejudices and knowledge gaps
  • equip themselves to acknowledge, support and promote the interests of boys and men in pursuing childcare and other caring  work, and
  • monitor outcomes.

This would be of huge value in improving the gender balance in employment in this sector.

Download our briefing Fatherhood Institute careers guidance followup submission 08072014.

* Rolfe, 2005; ** Fuller et al, 2005 and Cook, 2005 (see briefing for full references). 

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