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Are apprentices as accepted in industry as graduates?

Are apprentices as accepted in industry as graduates?

Findings indicate a surge in the popularity of apprenticeships around the UK. Indeed, a report published by the House of Commons Library last November found over 500,000 apprenticeships commenced in 2015/16 – a jump of almost 10,000 compared to the previous year. 

It suggests that apprenticeships are catching university places, which also stand at just over 500,000 places annually. As tuition fees have skyrocketed and more apprenticeships in engineering emerge, are attitudes changing?

Top apprenticeship schemes available from the likes of Jaguar Land Rover and BAE Systems have certainly become as valuable for young people looking to get in to engineering, as a university placement. But have broader attitudes changed towards practical learning among wider industry?

The fact is, they have. According to a report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, one in four jobs go unfilled because of the current skills shortage. Additionally, the Government pledged to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020 as it launched its Apprenticeship Levy in April where employers have been given an allowance of £15,000 to fund new apprenticeship schemes.

For prospective apprentices, money is a clear concern, which is where apprenticeships gain the upper hand. With tuition fees at an all-time high, more people are looking to apprenticeship schemes as a way of furthering their prospects without the inevitable student debt.

Stuart Cavanagh, head of HR at property maintenance provider, Novus Property Solutions, says: “The increasing rate of schemes becoming available can only mean good things for the industry. Apprentices come into a place of work with a brand new perspective, they’re often open to new ideas and are keen to learn.”

According to Cavanagh, if apprenticeship schemes continue to grow at this rate, a new generation of engineers will be ready to step in to fill jobs in a range of industries, so whether industry wants to accept it or not, apprenticeships must lead the way to plugging the UK’s skills gap.

Article courtesy of Eureka! (www.eurekamagazine.co.uk)


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