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Apprenticeships – popularity grows

More than double the number of young people are choosing engineering apprenticeships as degree courses, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has revealed.

Figures from the Skills Funding Agency show that in 2012/13, 66,410 young people started an apprenticeship in engineering and manufacturing technologies, more than double the 27,155 young people accepted onto engineering higher education courses in 2013, according to UCAS figures.

Overall, in 2012/13, there were 510,200 apprenticeship starts compared to 495,595 accepted places for degree courses in 2013.

Michelle Richmond, IET Membership Director, and a former apprentice, said, ‘Engineering, which is fundamental to a healthy economy, is one of the few professions where there is a range of entry routes for young people to start their journey to becoming a well-respected professional engineer. With the recent Government Trailblazer initiative, led by the IET and other industry leaders to introduce new standards to make sure apprenticeships meet employer needs, we can only expect apprenticeships to go from strength to strength.’

Nigel Whitehead, BAE Systems Group Managing Director, Programmes and Support, agrees. ‘Apprenticeship programmes create a pipeline of exceptionally talented young engineers. In tough economic times it is even more important that businesses plan for the long term and continue to invest in skills and developing talent in the workplace.’

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