Engineering Apprenticeships in Scotland
Seizing the Opportunities
Sector Development Specialist
employers really see the benefit of an apprenticeship and as a result, a large number of apprentices typically progress very quickly into highly skilled roles
As it’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week, I think it’s important to recognise the key role apprenticeships play in supporting Scotland’s employers and its economy.
Scotland has a very proud history of engineering and going forward, our apprentices will play an important part in ensuring that tradition continues.
In particular, they have a real chance to make a difference when it comes to helping the country achieve its aims for a cleaner, greener future.
The Scottish Government has published a Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan outlining its commitment to sustainability – and engineering will be key to reaching many of these goals.
The shift to decarbonisation of transport – where people are moving towards electric and non-fossil fuel alternatives – will undoubtedly create significant opportunities for young people.
It’s not just the decarbonisation of transport or renewable energies where the opportunities lie, though.
There are many other emerging technologies that are moving at a pace in Scotland in terms of the engineering sector.
For example, there are huge and significant changes around advanced manufacturing, digital manufacturing and the re-manufacturing of goods.
At Enginuity, we firmly believe that apprentices are key to meeting these engineering challenges of the future – and that’s why we need more of them.
Routes to Apprenticeship Success in Scotland
At the moment, we recruit about 1,200 new apprentices into the engineering sector every year here in Scotland and we generally have over 4,000 in training at any one time.
However, to meet the challenges outlined above, that’s still not enough.
One thing that would make a major difference in getting more young people involved is to increase awareness among parents and guardians of the opportunities associated with apprenticeships in engineering, and how they lead to fulfilling careers.
There is still a lack of understanding about how the sector has moved on, the emerging technologies and the many rewards that exist within engineering.
The success rate of engineering apprenticeships is very good. In total, 80 per cent of people who start an engineering apprenticeship see it through to completion.
In addition, employers really see the benefit of an apprenticeship and as a result, a large number of apprentices typically progress very quickly into highly-skilled roles.
This Week, we also celebrated International Women’s Day, and it would be remiss of me not to mention the need to address the fact that only three percent of the 1,200 apprentices are women.
If you look at the diversity, inclusion and gender balance in engineering, it is not fantastic and that’s something we simply have to improve.
Having a much more diverse, inclusive workforce in the engineering sector is a must if we are to meet the challenges going forward. We can’t afford to ignore half of our population.
That’s why, at Enginuity in Scotland, we are working with our partners to increase that number and make engineering apprenticeships accessible for all.
For example, by increasing our understanding of the barriers that are dissuading women from pursuing a career in engineering and working collaboratively with businesses – particularly SMEs – to help overcome them.
In my opinion, there has never been a more exciting time to be an apprentice.
They have an opportunity to help shape our future and make a real difference to the world around us.
That’s why it’s so important we continue to make noise, shout about our apprentices and help to support them.
You can find out more about Scottish Apprenticeship Week here: Apprenticeships | Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022
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