National Apprenticeship Week – 10 key facts

National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week and marks ten years of promoting apprenticeships in the UK. Andrew Wright reports.

In an uncertain economy, apprenticeships offer a viable option for young people looking for on-the-job training, and also provide an alternative to further education.

Today sees the beginning of National Apprenticeship Week, which brings together employers and apprentices from across the country, highlighting the success of apprenticeships over the last decade.

The series of events taking place across the country will also serve to encourage the next generation to consider an apprenticeship and a route in to a new career.

To mark this week, manufacturers’ organisation EEF has provided 10 key facts about apprenticeships and their importance and value to the sector and the wider economy:

1.       72% of manufacturers say raising awareness of apprenticeships will get more young people into engineering.

2.       79% of manufacturers were committed to recruiting engineering apprentices in 2016 – 45% were committed to recruiting apprentices in other parts of the business.

3.       46% of manufacturers say they will increase their intake of engineering apprentices as a result of the new Apprenticeship Levy – 35% say they will recruit apprentices in other areas.

4.       A quarter of manufacturers (26%) believe the Apprenticeship Levy could encourage more young people to choose apprenticeships – three in ten (29%) see it as an opportunity to increase apprenticeships within their business.

5.       In 2015/16 there were 78,480 manufacturing and engineering apprenticeship starts, representing 15% of all apprenticeship starts for the year.

6.       40% of manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships in 2015-16 were at advanced or higher level.

7.       Only 7% of students at state-funded mainstream schools and colleges went on to an apprenticeship after key stage 5 compared to 48% that went on to a UK higher education institution.

8.       55% of those who completed an apprenticeship last year were female – but women made up less than 6% of those who completed a STEM apprenticeship.

9.       Three-quarters of manufacturers say all their apprentices stay with the company upon completion of their apprenticeship.

10.   The average hourly pay rate for engineering apprentices is £6.50, almost double the minimum rate and engineering apprentices are more likely to receive a bonus.

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