New data released last week revealed Semta is well on its way to achieving an ambition to double the number of advanced and higher level apprenticeship registrations by 2016.
Semta’s apprenticeship director Bill Twigg said: “We have hit 9,200 starts at level 3 and level 4 in a year. That’s an additional 1,200. So we have already met our 2012-13 target of a 25% increase on 2009/10. It’s a fantastic result and gives us real confidence that we will achieve our ambition.”
The sector skills council’s Apprentice Ambition, launched just a year ago in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service and large employers such as Siemens, Tata, Ford and Airbus, aims to increase advanced and higher level registrations from 8,000 to 16,000 through a ten-point plan, which includes measures to help combat barriers to apprenticeship uptake such as attracting more quality entrants, reducing bureaucracy, developing frameworks that meet employers’ needs, and improving training provision.
To make take-up easier, Semta launched the Semta Apprenticeship Service, which manages the whole apprentice process from recruitment and quality assurance to funding and managing the paperwork.
A new Higher Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering was also launched, which has proved an immediate success with over 400 apprentices already being recruited by companies such as BAE Systems, Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens and MBDA.
Semta research indicates that industry needs to recruit and train 82,000 engineers, scientists and technicians across the UK by 2016, and 363,000 of the current technical workforce is qualified below world class standards and needs to be skilled up.
Mr Twigg continued: “The demand for higher level skills is increasing as the UK competes in high value markets such as advanced manufacturing, bio technology and emerging and green technologies. And as traditional industries become leaner, many jobs require multi-skilled technicians or demand very specific skills sets.”