UK hits apprenticeships target

Posted on 26 Jun 2015 by The Manufacturer

The Government confirmed it has reached its target of supporting 20,000 higher apprenticeship starts over the last two years.

The Government confirmed it has reached its target of supporting 20,000 higher apprenticeship starts over the last two years.

The figures show since the start of the academic year 2013/14, over 22,000 higher apprenticeships have already been supported. This target was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn Statement 2013.

There has also been strong growth in traineeships with over 15,000 started in the first three quarters of this academic year. The statistics also show the efforts to improve the quality of apprenticeships and encourage people to take them up, has resulted in more than 2.3m apprenticeship starts across the country.

The Government is committed to supporting a further 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “We listened to what employers told us they needed and have invested in apprenticeships to ensure their workforce have the quality skills needed to grow the business.

Minister for Skills and Equalities, Nick Boles during his presentation today at The Manufacturer Directors’ Conference
Minister for Skills and Equalities, Nick Boles speaking at The Manufacturer Directors’ Conference.

“These figures show we are on course to create a modern and competitive workforce that boosts the country’s productivity and prosperity. The employer-led demand for higher apprenticeships is yet another reminder of the great respect our apprentices command”.

Rolls-Royce is one of hundreds of companies that support higher apprenticeships, running their programme at facilities across the UK.

David Campbell, Rolls-Royce learning and development manager said: “We understand the value apprentices can bring to a business and look to attract people with real potential. We provide world-class training, working with industry leading professionals to help drive career ambitions and the company forward.”

Jessica Bestwick, aged 21, from Nottingham, is a higher technical apprentice at Rolls-Royce in Derby. She started with the company in September 2012 and is completing an apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering.

Bestwick said: “Thanks to starting a higher apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce, I have been able to progress my career, earning a wage and gaining a degree at the same time. My job involves working within the different civil aerospace product development teams to gain an understanding of what is involved in developing and manufacturing Civil Large Engines for our customers.

“I would never have dreamed when I left school after completing my A-Levels that I would be where I am now. I would recommend a higher apprenticeship to anyone.”

Business, Administration and Law and Health, Public Services and Care subject areas led the way with the number of apprenticeship starts since August 2014.

These positive figures follow the Skills Minister’s announcement earlier this month that public bodies – including schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces – will be set clear targets to employ apprentices as part of their workforce and play their part in creating 3 million apprenticeships.