Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023
As we reflect on another successful Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we have been thinking about the amazing contribution that apprentices make to the Engineering and Manufacturing (E&M) sector. This has been a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our apprentices’ success as part of a sector which strives to ensure that rich and diverse opportunities are increasingly widely accessible. As a sector, E&M is focused on continuously improving this access and, we have set out five points of focus which will help us to achieve our goals:
Focus 1: Respect for technical skills.
It is vital that incentives are built into the system to help achieve equality of recognition between technical and vocational qualifications, and academic achievements.
Focus 2: The importance of progression.
We need to ensure that the content of learning and achievements gained through the apprenticeship programme are recognised effectively for continuous learning at a higher level; for example degree-based engineering programmes and/or professional recognition.
Focus 3: Data is king.
The sector would benefit enormously from a better understanding of supply and demand, as well as the collection and publication of outcomes and destination data to enhance opportunities to promote apprenticeships to new entrants.
Focus 4: Opening doors.
The ability to imaginatively recruit under-represented groups to apprenticeships would benefit from a refreshed and re-energised working relationship with government. Potential entrants need clarity on the options and employment pathways available to them from the start.
Focus 5: Funding.
We urge the Government to consider increasing the number of funded places allocated to Engineering. Skills Development Scotland should reconsider funding freezes for E&M apprenticeships and review funding for training providers.
Enginuity has published a white paper that explores some of the key and emerging trends within the E&M apprenticeship landscape. Our research concludes that:
- Modern apprenticeship (MA) starts in Scotland have remained relatively stable, if the effects of the Covid pandemic are discounted.
- Recruitment of females has not increased significantly despite efforts to reach out to under-represented groups. There are positive trends in numbers from ethnic minorities.
- The trend in Total MA starts by age is changing, with starts by older participants increasing rapidly while starts by apprentices under 24 years old trend downward.
- MA Engineering and Energy Related achievement rates are generally better than the average rates across MA.
- Foundational and Graduate apprenticeships in Engineering have both proven popular since their introduction.
We call on policy makers, businesses, colleges and training providers to engage with the challenges we have set out in this document and encourage them to get involved by contacting Enginuity via our web form for more information.
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