Boost for UK manufacturing apprenticeships

Posted on 30 Jan 2013

The number of apprenticeships in engineering and advanced manufacturing has increased by more than 85% in the past two years.

Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing, has announced 31,070 new apprentices were taken on in manufacturing in 2011/12, compared to 22,300 in 2010/11, and 16,760 in 2009/10.

Every area of England has seen a rise with West Midlands (227%), East Midlands (174%), North East (133%) and Yorkshire & Humber (109%) leading the way.

“These figures are extremely encouraging”, said Semta chief executive Sarah Sillars.

“Apprenticeships represent real jobs for young people that pay above the national average.”

Semta and the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) yesterday updated the skills minister Matthew Hancock MP on the progress they’ve made. Their goal is to double the number of Advanced and Higher Level Apprenticeships for the sector by 2015/16.

Speaking at the event hosted by Baroness Ward, Mr Hancock commended Semta and NAS’s work as contributing to a “broad rebirth of apprenticeships in the UK.”

The minster pledged to build on the Richard report on apprenticeships, by ensuring that they “are stretching, rigorous and valuable to employers.”

It was not all good news however. Most of the new apprenticeships added in the last two years have been at intermediate level (142%), with a smaller rise (23%) in the number of advanced and higher level positions.

As only 18% of the employers in the sector are currently offering apprenticeships more work needs to be done to recruit the 82,000 people needed just to cover retirements up to 2016.

Lynn Tomkins, UK Operations Director for Semta, will be speaking at The Manufacturer’s event – Driving Skills Development in the Workforce – on February 26 at the The Waldorf Hilton, London.

If you are interested in attending this event please click here to register or call 020 7401 6033.

See link for video of Semta apprentices at work:


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