In National Apprenticeship Week: shout about the benefits of apprenticeships says Make UK
04 March 2019
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As #NAW2019 (4th to 8th March) kicks off, Make UK (formerly EEF), the voice of UK manufacturing & engineering, is calling on the manufacturing industry to promote apprenticeships as the perfect pathway to a fulfilling career.
Building on the recent launch of the Government's '#FireItUp' campaign, promoting apprenticeships to young people, parents and employers, the theme for this year's National Apprenticeship Week is '#BlazeATrail' – designed to emphasise that apprenticeships are for these individuals and employers who have the spirit to blaze their own path and the passion to follow their dreams. Now is the perfect time for manufacturing employers to sell their apprenticeships to the next generation.
And there is much to be talking about. Average pay for the manufacturing sector is £32,500, against a national average of £29,000. 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 all the way 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 now leading the fourth industrial revolution, using pioneering and cutting edge technology, applying new digital technology and techniques – and working to solve society and the world’s grand challenges.
However, Make UK says there is still 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 & 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.”
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