Engineering Company Gets Creative In Pursuit Of Quality Apprentices

The UK needs engineers and this need will only keep growing. It is essential to makeATG_industrial-laser_241013 engineering and manufacturing careers more attractive for young people, giving them the opportunity to build solid foundations for future professional success through high quality apprenticeships. But it is equally important for sector employers to ensure that their apprenticeship programmes draw the most talented youngsters. A manufacturing company from Staffordshire has taken an innovative approach to this, using a competition among school students to pick out the best and brightest among them, Automation magazine reports on its website.

It is the second time KMF Precision Sheet Metal Manufacturing has run the competition, offering winners the opportunity to gain work experience at the company and potentially enrol for an advanced apprenticeship. Last year, 1,700 students from 16 schools across Staffordshire took part in the competition and were tasked with designing a mechanical clock. This year the bar has been raised even higher: pupils have to design, build and race Formula 24 cars.

Gareth Higgins, managing director at KMF, noted that the future success of the UK economy depends on more young people entering the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Higgins said that he was thrilled with the level of student and parent engagement achieved through this competition and the fact that it helped youngsters decide on their future study subjects. The company has tried to make the competition both fun and challenging while identifying the talented students that could one day reach the top of the engineering profession via the apprenticeship route, Higgins added.

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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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Apprenticeship Making A Young Man’s Engineering Dream Come True

Young people with the lofty ambition of becoming an aeronautical engineer probably thinkATG_Airbus_050913 that their only route to accomplishing that is university. However, they would be quite wrong, as illustrated by the case of 24-year-old Mike Hollings. The young man is working towards his degree while also accumulating hands-on experience thanks to his decision three years ago to disregard careers advice and go for an apprenticeship. Mike has shared his story with the Huffington Post for its Apprentice Of The Week series.

Mike hails from Rossett, Wrexham and is about to begin his third year of apprenticeship at aerospace giant Airbus. As he told the Huffington Post, becoming an engineer had always been his dream and his school teachers invariably told him to prepare for university. However, Mike opted for another solution: an apprenticeship at the Airbus plant in Broughton. He thought it combined the best of two worlds: work experience and academic study. Moreover, he liked the idea of getting paid while training and obtaining a degree without running up a pile of debts.

Mike pointed out that students did not get information about working conditions in the industry. In his case, for example, he was surprised to find that the plant was a very clean and well-organised place. He went on to add that young people were sometimes put off by the lower wages apprentices earn but taking everything into consideration, it is actually a great deal. Mike said he could afford to run a car and pay for a holiday every year, not to mention that he will have spared himself massive debts for tuition fees. He concluded by strongly recommending the apprenticeship option, noting that it provides young people with an excellent start to their career.

Make your dreams come true through an Apprenticeship with ATG Training.

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Boris Johnson Doubles Apprenticeship Incentive for London SMEs

London Mayor Boris Johnson aims to bolster the uptake of apprenticeships by small andATG_BorisJohnson_180613 medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the capital by doubling the grant normally available to employers recruiting an apprentice. Johnson has set aside £1.5 million for that purpose in a move that could help a thousand young people join apprenticeship programmes at London companies, notgoingtouni.co.uk has reported.

Companies taking on an apprentice typically receive an incentive payment amounting to £1,500. However, Johnson is offering SMEs £3,000 as part of his campaign to create more employment opportunities for young Londoners. Johnson recently provided further evidence of his support for apprenticeships by launching a scheme that allows apprentices to reduce their London travel costs by as much as 30%.

As a result of Johnson’s work with the National Apprenticeship Service, the number of apprenticeships created in the capital since 2010 has exceeded 100,000. The mayor has set himself the goal of lifting that number to 250,000 by the end of 2016.

Commenting on the latest initiative, Johnson pointed out that SMEs were the backbone of London’s economy and a key provider of employment opportunities for local young people. Businesses that have recruited apprentices are already aware of the benefits to be had, including a boost to profitability. The aim is to encourage more companies to join the apprenticeship push. The latest incentive is targeted at SMEs, and business owners from all over London should grab the opportunity it presents. As they reap the benefits associated with apprentices, local SMEs will also help drive the wider London economy, Johnson added.

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Semta Highlights Engineering Apprenticeship Opportunities For Young Britons

By 2016, about 82,000 workers in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector willATG Training Engineering Apprentice have retired. This means that UK companies are looking at a huge skills gap but it also opens up great career opportunities for young people who are just embarking on their professional journey. They can make the first step by signing up for an apprenticeship, availing themselves of the chance to obtain valuable skills while earning money, as Semta points out.

There has never been a better time to become an apprentice for young Britons with five A-C grades in their GCSEs, among them English, Maths and Science, according to the UK sector skills council for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing. In a statement posted on notgoingtouni.co.uk, Semta also notes that apprentices can still obtain a degree while working, without attending university full-time.

Beth Sherbourne has a lot to say on the subject. She used to be a part-time employee in a supermarket and planned on going to university. However, she reconsidered after seeing many people her age return to their previous jobs despite getting university degrees. Beth decided to become an apprentice at missile systems company MBDA and has been richly rewarded for her choice. During her four-year training period she obtained high-level academic qualifications and MBDA has appointed the 22-year-old as a senior procurement officer. Beth says she strongly recommends apprenticeships to young people, pointing out that her training has delivered amazing benefits. In addition to earning money and getting valuable work experience, the apprenticeship has also given her a massive confidence boost and opened many doors for her.

Stephen Smyth – Marketing Manager at ATG Training commented: Beths story is not unusual. I have seen many young people gain valuable skills and achieving higher qualifications whilst earning a good  salary on Engineering Apprenticeships. There are companies seeking Apprentices all the time, so now it a particularly good time to register and set your prefences for Apprenticeship vacancies on www.atgapprenticeships.com  

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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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