UK Youngsters Need More Apprenticeships, Training To Compete With Migrant Workers

Youth unemployment has become a serious problem for the UK and it may get evenATG_competition_140114 worse now that the job market is fully open to Eastern European migrants. The only way to help young Britons become competitive in the battle for jobs is to ensure that they get high-quality training or are provided with ample apprenticeship opportunities, according to entrepreneur Will Davies.

Davies, head of property maintenance firm Aspect, believes that the government and employers must intensify their efforts to address the problem of youth unemployment. Over a fifth of young Britons under the age of 24 are out of work or not in any training at the moment. This has serious implications for the job prospects of local youngsters because many Eastern Europeans arrive in the country with an apprenticeship on their CV, thus securing an edge over untrained locals, Davies told EN magazine.

The key to making young Britons competitive is betting on apprenticeships and training programmes, the entrepreneur went on to say. Migration is good for the economy of any country but it also raises the bar for local job applicants. Eastern Europeans have built a reputation for their work ethic and this has made its impact on the UK labour force by spurring local workers to improve so that they can compete for jobs. However, UK employers need to do their bit to ensure that local youngsters get access to more apprenticeship and training opportunities. This is the only way they can remain competitive in the job battle with more skilled and experienced migrant workers, Davis concluded.

Commenting on the news a spokesman for Apprenticeship training provider ATG Training pointed to the current opportunities that exist on and the National Apprenticeship Service.

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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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Young People Need Greater Awareness Of Apprenticeship Opportunities

A-level results are out and young Brits are preparing for life after school, which for most ATG_youngpeople_200813 involves either getting a job or pursuing a university degree. There is also the option to combine work and further study through an apprenticeship programme and 55% say they would consider this route. The problem is that most young people between the ages of 14 and 25 are unaware of the wide range of opportunities available for the apprenticeship-minded, Online Recruitment magazine reports on its website.

Companies of all sizes are embracing apprenticeships and new sectors are joining the list of enthusiastic recruiters but young people know little about it, according to the latest Barclays LifeSkills Barometer. Manufacturing firms and retailers have long established themselves as top apprentice employers and youngsters are aware of that, with 69% and 44% respectively stating so. However, the situation looks quite different when it comes to awareness about apprenticeship opportunities in other sectors. Hospitality and leisure companies, for example, are some of the best apprentice recruiters and 44% of them plan to take on apprentices this year. However, 56% of young people have no idea that apprenticeships can give them entry into these sectors. Only 33% said they were aware of newer qualifications in the travel sector, while the respective proportions for healthcare and insurance were even lower at 25% and 24%.

According to Mike Thompson, the person in charge of Barclays’ employability programmes, the number and breadth of apprenticeships on offer is fantastic news for school leavers. However, it is clear that employers and education providers must join forces to increase awareness among young people and inform them of ways to access those opportunities, Thompson added.

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NAS Unveils New Resources For Employers To Help With Apprentice Recruitment

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) announced on Friday the launch of several new measures that aim to provide guidance for employers and help them recruit apprentices.

To begin with, the collection has been expanded with the addition of two new films:ATG_apprentice_300713 “How to hire an apprentice” and “Why hire an apprentice.” The NAS has used real employers’ stories to address issues such who to approach initially, the importance of evaluating business needs, the selection of the right training provider and the way to begin recruiting.

The list of new measures also includes Jason Holt’s appointment as Apprenticeship Ambassador for smaller companies. And there is a new online search tool (“Find an Apprenticeship Training Organisation”), which provides employers with new data on training organisations. This means that companies will be able to find local training providers with ease. Another new tool, AV Live, makes it easy to get information on apprenticeship vacancies. AV Live, which is currently in beta trial, automatically updates and displays this data.

NAS chief executive David Way said that these new resources offered employers easy access to all the information they require in order to recruit an apprentice. The NAS is hopeful that its additional help will make more employers realise the benefits of apprenticeships and encourage them to take on apprentices, Way added.

Earlier on Friday, it was announced that the £1500 apprenticeship grant would be extended for another year. This is paid to companies with fewer than 1,000 employees for hiring apprentices aged 16 to 24. Thanks to the grant, more than 30,000 young people have been given the opportunity to join apprenticeship programmes, the NAS said.

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Engineering Skills Shortage Looms Large For UK Employers

With many Engineering Apprenticeship roles available at and talented young people currently seeking their future roles, Marketing Manager Stephen Smyth saw this topical article. 

The UK economy appears to have embarked on the road to recovery and manufacturing is picking up steam but the shortage of engineering talent poses a threat to sustained growth. While a large number of young Britons come out of university with engineering qualifications,ATG_engineering_230713 only a small proportion of them go into full-time employment as engineers and some companies find that their recruits do not have the particular skills set required. As demand for engineers keeps growing, apprenticeships have become one way of solving the problem although a concerted effort is required to promote the profession among young people and raise the standards of training, according to an article in E&T Magazine.

The challenge facing employers was highlighted in the latest annual report published by EngineeringUK. The organisation estimates that the sector will need 87,000 new workers with engineering skills every year through to 2020. University graduates cannot meet that demand since their number stands at around 46,000 per year. As a result, the government, employers and industry bodies are turning their attention to engineering apprenticeships. Semta, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, has supported the creation of new apprenticeships in the sector, helping to lift their number from 1,035 in 2011/2012 to 1,393 by this April. Bill Twigg, apprenticeship director at Semta, said that a growing number of companies were coming to recognise the benefit of apprenticeships and setting up training programmes.

One of the main problems is making an engineering career attractive to UK youngsters and encouraging them to study the required technical subjects. Among the initiatives designed to achieve this are the Big Bang Fair, Make It In Great Britain and Tomorrow’s Engineers. Another key issue is developing training programmes that are demand-led, meaning that they teach the skills employers really need, the article pointed out.

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Cable Highlights Value Of Apprenticeships During Visit To Rolls-Royce Festival Stand

Rolls-Royce is one of the jewels in the UK’s manufacturing crown. The company has a long track record of nurturing new talent through its apprenticeship programmes and the wisdom of such a policy was highlighted yesterday by Business Secretary Vince Cable. He stressed the importance of apprenticeships for plugging the skills gap during his visit to the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars stand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Cable was accompanied by Automotive Council co-chairman Richard Parry-Jones and the EarlATG_Rolls-Royce_160713 of March, founder of the Festival of Speed, automotive information website the Auto Channel reported. He pointed out that the UK’s success in the automotive sector was maintained by its skilled workforce. Rolls-Royce and other leading manufacturers have long recognised how valuable apprenticeships are for ensuring the competitiveness of the UK industry. These are companies that have impressive records of giving young people a strong start on their career journeys. Apprenticeships will help the automotive industry secure its future talent and the Automotive Council expects to create an additional 7,600 apprenticeships in the next five years. Efforts to eliminate the skills shortage also include the improvement of existing and future training programmes, Cable added.

Torsten Mueller-Otvos, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said that the company was extremely pleased to be recognised as a manufacturing success story. It was also very happy to hear Cable’s positive comments about the apprenticeship and graduate programmes run by Rolls-Royce, Mueller-Otvos added.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars launched its apprenticeship programme in 2006. As part of the scheme, young people between the ages of 16 and 24 get the opportunity to learn valuable skills and lay the foundations of a rewarding career.

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Unilever Executive Praises Benefits Of Apprenticeships

Unilever is one of those companies that people come in touch with every day. The consumerATG_Unilever_120713 goods giant has built a portfolio of more than 400 brands, among them Dove, Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s, Domestos, Knorr and Axe. What some may not know is that the company is a great believer in apprenticeships and its UK division recently took on 20 apprentices in business administration and IT. While Unilever UK is keen to help address the problem of youth unemployment, it is also convinced that apprenticeships deliver amazing benefits for businesses and that apprentices are great employees, Apprentice Eye reported this week.

The website cited Tim Munden, HR vice-president for Unilever UK & Ireland. According to Munden, apprenticeships benefit both companies and the wider economy. Unilever’s experience has shown that the young people enrolling in its apprenticeship programmes are talented, ambitious and loyal workers. This means that apprenticeships provide employers with a great opportunity to build their future talent base. They are particularly helpful in areas where skills are in short supply.

Munden went on to add that Unilever UK wanted to contribute to reviving the UK economy and helping a “lost generation” enter the national workforce. Youth unemployment is among the top challenges to ensuring sustainable livelihoods. People who remain unemployed for an extended period in their youth have worse job prospects later in life. Apprenticeships are a great way to kill two birds with one stone: give young people a good start in their career journey and secure the nation’s future talent base, Munden said.

Commenting on this story, Stephen Smyth spokesman for #Apprentice Training provider ATG Training said: This is the time of year when young people’s thoughts turn to the future as they anxiously await their exam results.  For many, going to uni seems to be the only option available.  But today, apprenticeships are serious contenders when it comes to choosing a career, and there is a wealth of opportunities available which can be seen on the Apprenticeship Vacancies site

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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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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, 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  

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Opening Doors Campaign Seeks To Level Playing Field For Young Job Seekers

UK companies of all sizes are being called upon to make jobs available to young peopleATG Apprenticeships from all walks of life. This appeal is at the core of the Opening Doors campaign launched by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who has partnered with entrepreneur James Caan for the initiative. The aim is to ensure fair and open access to job opportunities for all talented young Britons, helping them on the way to their chosen career through the provision of work experience, internships and apprenticeships.

Reporting the news on its website, the National Apprenticeship Service said that more than 150 major UK companies had already joined the initiative. They have pledged to open their doors to any deserving young person regardless of his or her social background. As part of the campaign, Clegg has also asked Caan to set up the Opening Doors Award. Caan will do that together with Peter Searle, chief executive of leading UK recruiter Adecco Group. Caan and Searle will act as judges and the awards will be handed out later this year, recognising companies that have done exceptional work in levelling the playing field for all young Britons in search of work opportunities.

Judging by the findings of a YouGov survey, Opening Doors is definitely needed. Conducted for the campaign, the research produced results indicating that young Britons from underprivileged backgrounds find it harder to access work opportunities in the industry of their choice. Among representatives of higher social grades, 33% of people aged 16 to 25 said they were already working in their chosen industry. However, this applied to only 5% of young Brits in lower social grades.

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