As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off, Make UK (formerly EEF) is calling on the manufacturing industry to promote apprenticeships as the perfect pathway to a fulfilling career. As the Government launches its new Fire it Up campaign, now is the perfect time for manufacturing employers to sell their apprenticeships to the next generation.
And there is much to be talking about. Almost eight in ten manufacturers are currently offering apprenticeships meaning the doors to learners of all ages are open to those wanting to earn while they learn. School leavers and those already in the workplace alike can find the perfect training tailored to their individual needs through apprenticeships.
Apprentices can progress from the shop floor to the top floor with apprenticeship opportunities starting from intermediate level all the way up to degree or post-graduate level, meaning learners can gain degree level qualifications without acquiring a penny of debt.
Manufacturing is the industry to choose your apprenticeship in, previously seen as dated, and repetitive, our sector is leading the fourth industrial revolution, using pioneering and cutting edge technology, applying new digital technology and techniques and working to solve the world’s grand challenges.
However, Make UK also says there is more work to do with just 6% of students at state-funded mainstream schools and colleges going onto an apprenticeship after key stage 5 compared to 50% that went on to a UK higher education institution (DFE, 2018). There is also an urgent need to tackle the gender imbalance with women making up less than 9% of STEM Apprenticeships, meaning 9 in 10 STEM apprenticeships are undertaken by men (WISE, 2017)
Verity Davidge, Head of Education and Skills Policy at Make UK said: “Long gone are the days when academic pathways such as university were the only options for bright, talented young people. Apprenticeships are now firmly and proudly in the spotlight and manufacturers have plans to increase the number of apprenticeships within their business.
“National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect platform for manufacturers to be shouting from the rooftops about the opportunities within our vibrant and innovative sector. From shop floor to top floor, manufacturers are investing in the next generation of innovators, creators and makers through apprenticeships.”
“With awareness rising, there is much to celebrate, but we can’t take our foot off the pedal just yet. We need to see more young people choosing vocational pathways and more girls pursuing STEM apprenticeships. This will widen the talent pool available to manufacturers who are keeping their doors wide open for their future leaders.”