UK manufacturers back new engineering Higher Apprenticeship

Posted on 12 Mar 2013

Manufacturing firms have committed to training the next generation of engineers by supporting the new government-backed Higher Apprenticeship in Engineering Environmental Technologies.

One of the qualification’s three core pathways focuses on manufacturing engineering, and UK industry giants including Cummins Turbo Technologies helped in the development of the Higher Apprenticeship to address the shortage of highly-skilled engineers that is limiting sector growth and productivity.

Engineering has been identified by the government as a high-growth industry, and the impact of climate change and the Green Deal mean that environmental engineering will be of particular importance to the UK economy.

However, employer concerns about the acute shortfall of around 42,000 highly-skilled engineers have prompted the development of the Higher Apprenticeship.

Paul Jackson, EngineeringUK chief executive, also commented: “Engineering is central to the UK’s economy, and environmental technologies represent a wealth of opportunity. Our research highlights the need for more recruits into engineering if we are to take advantage of these opportunities and the Higher Apprenticeship’s business-backed model of academic and hands-on training will play an important role in safeguarding the UK economy and a home-grown future workforce.”

The City and Islington College, supported by Sector Skills Councils SEMTA, SummitSkills and Construction Industry Council (CIC) on behalf of Construction-Skills, is a partner on the development of the project. The awarding body is Pearson.

A network of nine partner colleges across England, with strong specialisms in engineering, will offer the Apprenticeship initially, with more colleges and training providers expected.

The government has provided £25 million to help employers train more of their workforce to gain qualifications at Level 4 and above, helping them to foster innovation and attract the most promising new talent.

The Higher Apprenticeship in Engineering Environmental Technologies is primarily aimed at craftspeople and technicians working in roles that include environmental engineering across the construction, building services and manufacturing industries.

Trevor Hunter, deputy director for Higher Apprenticeships at City and Islington College, said: “This new Higher Apprenticeship will create the next generation of talented technicians, supervisors and managers who will be able to address future environmental issues, and without whom, these industries and the wider UK economy will struggle to grow.”

The scheme encompasses a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and a Higher National Certificate (HNC) at Level 4, Functional Skills (English, Maths and ICT), Employee Rights and Responsibilities, and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills.

Funding will be available to employers through the Skills Funding Agency with the size of contribution dependent on sector, size of business and the apprentice’s age. A £1,500 grant is available for SMEs employing up to 1,000 employees who have not employed an apprentice in the last twelve months.