Apprenticeships pay off in the workplace, but only for men

September 9, 2013

Canadians who complete an apprenticeship are likely to enjoy a strong earnings premium compared to college graduates, but only if they’re male, according to a new working paper by researchers at the University of Toronto. Men who acquire apprenticeship credentials earn 21.4% more than those who do not complete high school, 19.3% more than community college graduates, and 11.1% more than trade certificate holders. In comparison, women who complete an apprenticeship only have a 7.1% earnings premium over those who do not complete high school. Co-author Morley Gunderson says that one explanation for the discrepancy is that apprenticeships with lower earning potential, such as hair styling, typically have more women than men enrolled. Calculations were based on Canada’s 2006 census, which the authors say is the only dataset that includes separate information on apprenticeships. Financial Post