Upcoming Campaign Aims To Raise Profile Of Engineering Among Young People

ATG Training – the training provider steeped in the Engineering sector - identifed that the UKATG_youngengineer_011013 will find it extremely difficult to compete on a global scale unless it develops a solid base of engineering talent. In order to achieve this, the country needs to educate young people about the exciting career opportunities awaiting them in the engineering sector according to spokesman Stephen Smyth.

Realising the importance of spreading the message, the government and industry representatives are pushing that agenda forward with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.

EngineeringUK, one of the industry bodies sponsoring the campaign, estimates that the engineering sector will need to fill 2.74 million positions by the end of the decade. But this will not be possible unless more school children, especially girls, are persuaded to pursue a career in engineering. There are too few at present going for degrees or apprenticeships leading to such careers, EngineeringUK said.

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week will run from 4 November to 8 November, setting itself the task of altering perceptions not only among young people but also parents and teachers. The government is involved through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which has been joined by leading engineering companies, industry organisations and the best and brightest among the UK’s young engineers. Their primary objective is to reverse antiquated negative perceptions, with a special focus on promoting engineering careers among women. The organisers will also seek to demonstrate that engineering plays an important part in the daily life of young people.

A lot of the activities planned have been designed with that objective in mind. Young engineering ambassadors will demonstrate the wide range of job opportunities available, while round tables and discussions will highlight the need for developing future talent and attracting more young people to the sector.

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Skills Summit Participants Highlight Importance Of Apprenticeships

Stephen Smyth, spokesman for the Engineering Apprentice Training provider ATG Training noticed this article reporting on the skills summit.

Late in June, London played host to a skills summit for high-growth sectors. Representatives ofATG_engineeringtraining_040713 government and industry organisations and companies from the technology, engineering, life sciences and creative sectors came together to discuss skills development and its importance for the future economic growth of the UK. Among the summit participants was the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which demonstrated its commitment to skills development by announcing new higher and advanced level apprenticeships.

Commenting on the new programmes, REC chief executive Kevin Green pointed out that a key economic challenge was the gap between the skills employers need and those offered by jobseekers. Apprenticeships represent an excellent way to set young Britons on a career course in sectors where fresh talent is needed, recruitment being one such sector, Green added.

The importance of apprenticeships was also highlighted by executives of other major trade bodies. Among them was Rob Wall, who is in charge of education and employment policy at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Wall said that the country needed more high quality apprenticeships, especially higher level apprenticeships. They are crucial for improving the skills of the UK workforce and ensuring the future competitiveness of the UK economy.

Similar comments were made by Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He described apprenticeships as a viable alternative to higher education and noted that they are becoming increasingly recognised and important. For the benefit of young people and the UK economy, all industries should embrace apprenticeships and implement policies that encourage school leavers to become apprentices, Cheese stated.

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Online Apprenticeship Applications, Vacancies Hit New Highs

The number of apprenticeship applications filed online and that of vacancies posted reachedOnline Applications record levels in the period between February and April, the latest data from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) reveals. The total number of applications grew by 32.5% year-on-year, while the number of vacancies increased by 14.8%.

As many as 368,830 applications were submitted over the Internet during the third quarter of the 2012/2013 academic year as opposed to 278,410 in the same period a year earlier. As for vacancies advertised online, their number went up from 28,396 to 32,604. Candidates were at their most active in the immediate aftermath of National Apprenticeship Week, making 18 March the busiest day for filing. On that day apprenticeship hopefuls submitted 6,730 applications. Regarding vacancies, the highest number posted online in a single day was 17,700 and this happened on 26 April.

There was no change in the top three when it came to sectors attracting the biggest number of applications. As was the case a year earlier, Business and Administration was first with 101,510 applications, followed by Childcare and Customer Services with 29,020 and 26,200 respectively. The number of vacancies advertised was also the highest for Business and Administration (7,702) but Customer Services overtook Childcare on that count (2,700 versus 1,991).

Commenting on the latest NAS figures, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said that apprenticeships were increasingly perceived by young Britons as an excellent alternative to a university degree. School leavers are quickly grasping the potential of an apprenticeship to help them realise their career ambitions. The government is working tirelessly alongside the NAS to promote the apprenticeship cause, encouraging more employers to take on apprentices and reap the associated benefits, Hancock added.


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HLAs Draw Ambitious School Leavers

People generally assume that the cream of the school-leaving crop will head towardsATG Training Apprentices university, putting in a few more years of study to obtain a degree. However, a growing number of school leavers are opting instead for an apprenticeship, not least because of the increase in tuition fees, the Guardian reports.

But tuition costs are only part of the reason for this choice. More school leavers are coming to realise that an apprenticeship, especially a higher level apprenticeship (HLA), can be just as useful as a degree, sometimes more so. Students going for HLAs get the equivalent of degree-level qualifications and invaluable work experience in addition to earning money during their training.

Sophie Dalby is one of the academic high-flyers who have chosen an apprenticeship over university. She received offers from five universities but decided to take up an accountancy apprenticeship. As Sophie told the Guardian, she will be fully qualified by the age of 23 and will not have the burden of fees. In addition, she will be acquiring skills that are in demand by employers.

The government has put apprenticeships high on its agenda and invested some £1.5 billion in various initiatives during the past year alone. This has created more opportunities for young Britons and the choice of sectors keeps rising. In 2012 the number of HLAs on offer shot up to 3,700, an increase of 67.5% from the prior year. This year school leavers will be able to choose from HLAs across 41 subject areas, the Guardian added.


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Semta CEO Urges Employers To Tackle Skills Shortage

Taking on apprentices and recruiting graduates are both great ways of addressing the skillsATG Training Apprentice Engineer shortage in engineering and manufacturing but UK companies need to do more, according to Semta chief executive Sarah Sillars. Employers also have to invest in improving the skills of existing employees and help spread the word about the excellent career opportunities available in the sector, Sillars was quoted as saying by The Journal.

Since it is exam season, our attention is focused on how young Britons are doing and what their future plans involve. Sillars urged those graduating in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects to think about an engineering or advanced manufacturing career. She noted that there were amazing opportunities for young people considering further education but prospects in the sector were also fantastic for those with no university plans. Boys and girls with five GCSEs (among them maths and science) can lay the foundations of a great career by opting for an apprenticeship. This will allow them to earn money, learn on the job and pave the way to excellent long-term prospects.

Sillars went on to add that Semta’s research painted a bleak picture for the future engineering and manufacturing talent base. By 2017 the sector will lose 8,500 employees to retirement and 15,000 need to improve their skills. According to the 2013 Harvey Nash Manufacturing Leadership survey, 62% of executives consider their companies woefully short of skills. Not only can apprentices help close the gap but they also tend to make more loyal employees, Sillars noted, citing a study by the National Apprenticeship Service. According to that research, 74% of employers believe apprentices to be more loyal than non-apprentices. In addition, 92% stated that their training programmes improved staff motivation and boosted job satisfaction levels.

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Potential Apprentices To Get Help From New Search Tool

Young Britons looking to enter vocational training will have their quest for opportunities madeATG_youngperson_240513 easier by an online search facility that the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is currently developing, FE Week has reported.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Vic Grimes, NAS apprenticeship director for London and the South East. Addressing the audience at a training provider forum, Grimes said that the service would go live soon, offering a database of providers and available apprenticeships.

The search tool comes in response to the Holt Review conducted last year. Undertaken by entrepreneur Jason Holt, it made a number of recommendations designed to ease access to apprenticeships. Among those recommendations was the development of an online search facility allowing employers to find quality training providers. This was suggested as part of a broader aim to facilitate the entry of small companies to the apprenticeship arena. With a database of providers and opportunities readily available for search, young people considering the apprenticeship route will be greatly assisted in their undertaking.

Grimes went on to tell his audience that the government had “huge ambitions” with regard to apprenticeships. Last year the number of apprenticeship starts reached 500,000 and the goal is to have that lifted to 520,000 this year. The coalition is betting heavily on apprenticeships, putting them at the centre of its economic growth strategy. The plan is to support 3.8 million apprenticeships over the decade ahead, which is expected to deliver huge benefits to the UK economy. According to recent research, the gain will amount to £3.4 billion, Grimes pointed out.

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LSIS Seeks To Boost Uptake Of Disabled Apprentices

The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) is in the midst of its latestATG Training Apprentice initiative aimed at encouraging employers and training providers to take on apprentices with disabilities. Acting in partnership with Remploy Employment Services, the LSIS is addressing issues through two workshops this week, one held on Monday and another scheduled for Thursday. Three other workshops on the subject were organised earlier this year and proved extremely successful. The LSIS will be closed on 31 July 2013 but Remploy, the specialist employment support services provider, is hoping to secure a sponsor and continue to deliver such workshops across the country.

The seminars focus on concerns that might discourage employers and training providers from recruiting apprentices with disabilities. A survey commissioned by the National Apprenticeship Service in 2011 identified some of those concerns. Remploy, which carried out the research, established that employers were often deterred from taking on disabled apprentices for fear of an overwhelming regulatory burden with regard to health and safety. Some were also concerned that the apprentices would drop out of the programme, which could affect the company’s business plans. Through these workshops, the LSIS and Remploy seek to address existing concerns by informing providers how to get extra support and funding for disabled apprentices, as well as increase the number of disabled learners in apprenticeship programmes by using employer engagement strategies.

Remploy business consultant Howard Nelson said the organisation was hoping to carry on the work started by the LSIS although the workshops may not be free in the future if a sponsor is not found. The success of the events organised so far has prompted Remploy to consider a national conference on disabled apprentices, which is scheduled to take place in September.

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Oxfordshire Initiative Aims To Encourage MSE Apprenticeship Uptake

The UK government has pointed out time and again that the country cannot maintain aATG_engineeringstudent_230413 globally competitive economy without the proper skills base. It is also regularly stressed that the UK is in great need of more engineering talent and apprenticeships are an excellent way of addressing the problem. In light of that, a new initiative launched in Oxfordshire is a big winner. It gives young people the chance to earn while training on the job by starting an apprenticeship, and the county stands to make an invaluable addition to its talent pool.

The initiative in question runs under the name Apprenticeship Launchpad and aims to promote manufacturing, science and engineering (MSE) apprenticeships among school pupils, Insider Media has reported. The scheme is led by Oxfordshire County Council and is supported by Science Oxford, a charitable organisation focused on encouraging connections between science, enterprise and society.

ATG_Oxford_230413The goal of the campaign is to provide young people with information about companies in and around the Science Vale UK Enterprise Zone covering Abingdon, Culham and Didcot. As part of the initiative, school pupils will get invitations to six events held at different MSE enterprises. This will give the youngsters the opportunity to meet current apprentices, tour company premises and try their hand at practical challenges. The Apprenticeship Launchpad has already gained the support of five schools, which have registered to promote the scheme to students studying science and technology subjects. The project has also drawn several businesses, among them STFC-operated scientific research centre Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

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Apprenticeships Event for Engineering Employers

We are holding an Apprenticeships Event for Engineering Employers at our head office on Tuesday 16th April 2013, starting at 4pm. Whether you already work with us or would like to know more about Apprenticeships, this is an event you should attend! Come and see our facilities, talk to our trainers and hear first-hand from our students the advantages of being an apprentice and how they have benefited their companies. To book your place, call 0845 894 9530 of e-mail: future@atg-training.co.uk.

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BAE’s Apprenticeship Intake Reaches Highest Level Since 2008

Over the course of this week, hundreds of events around England will pay tribute to apprenticeships and their invaluable contribution to the economy. Employers, training providers and apprentices are coming together to celebrate the sixth annual National Apprenticeship Week, showcasing the importance and benefits of apprenticeships for all parties involved. One UK company that considers apprenticeships vital for its future is aerospace and defence giant BAE Systems, which has expanded its trainee recruitment programme this year by 60 positions, bringing the number of its UK engineering and business apprentices to 387.

This makes 2013 the biggest year for apprenticeship intake at BAE since 2008. Nearly 10% of the newly recruited trainees will undertake the five-year Higher Apprentice Programme, seizing an opportunity to combine hands-on training with free study for degree-level qualifications.

Apprentice training is at the heart of the company’s Skills 2020 programme, which reflects BAE’s commitment to securing the talent it needs to operate competitively and successfully in its home market until and beyond 2020. In the UK alone, BAE allocates about £80 million annually for educational activities, partnerships with training providers and development initiatives for its employees.

According to Nigel Whitehead, group managing director at BAE, the company’s ongoing commitment to its apprenticeship programme indicates the sustainable nature of BAE’s UK operations and the success it has achieved in shaping the future BAE workforce. The company offers its young recruits the chance to train on the job and pursue academic studies without the burden of fee-incurred debts. This combination has proved a powerful motivator for apprentices to remain part of the BAE family, Whitehead added.

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