Oh those awful white people! Wanting to work! The Horror! Too many white boys take apprentice places, warns report

Employers need to reserve places on apprenticeship schemes for young women, disabled people and ethnic minorities to create a more level playing field, the country’s equality body has said.

The government has pledged to create 3 million apprenticeships in England by 2020. But almost 90% of apprentices aged 16-24 are white, compared with 82% of the population.

While there are similar numbers of female and male apprentices, women remain significantly under-represented in the better-paid industries. And the number of people starting an apprenticeship last year who had learning difficulties, disabilities or health problems dropped by 17% on the previous year.