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Record Number Of Apprentices In Scotland

22nd May 2013

RECORD NUMBER OF APPRENTICES
FIGURES BOOST SCOTTISH ENGINEERING

THE number of Scottish teenagers embarking on Modern Apprenticeships in engineering has topped 1,000 for the first time, new figures reveal this week.

In 2012-13 there were a record 1,079 candidates aged 16-19 compared to 907 the previous year.

Over the same period the total number of MA registrations reached 1,393 - a 28% rise and the second highest on record (the previous best was 1,400 in 2008-09).
But skills experts say while the increase particularly among school leavers is welcome there is no room for complacency.

Sarah Sillars, OBE, CEO of Semta, the sector skills organisation for science, engineering and manufacturing said: We have seen very encouraging signs in Scotland as in the rest of the UK.

More youngsters are recognising that engineering is an exciting career, with long term prospects and Modern Apprenticeships are a real alternative to university.

However, there is still much work to do to persuade more individuals and companies, in particular SMEs (Small & Medium size Enterprises) that MAs are good for business.
Scotland has approximately 142,600 employees and 11,500 employers across the engineering and science sectors which equates to just under 10% of engineering and science employers in the UK.

Semta research found:
Only 29% of all engineering establishments in Scotland employ apprentices or recognised trainees
15% of all employers in Scotland reported skills gaps (21% for UK)
61% of Science, Engineering and Manufacturing technology employers believe technical and practical skills need to be improved (48% for all employers)
As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week (21 25 May) Semta is hosting an employers breakfast, promoting the benefits of Modern Apprenticeships, in conjunction with Skills Development Scotland.

Details will also be unveiled on a Big Lotto project Semta has undertaken with the Scottish Resource Centre for Women to boost the number of girls becoming engineering apprentices.

The number registered this year was an all-time high of 36 but still below the target of at least 3% of all recruits.

Sillars said: Women make up half the workforce and so are a great untapped resource. There are great role models working in engineering throughout the UK who can inspire the next generation.

We need more parents and teachers to understand the value of apprenticeships for both girls and boys and what they can lead to well paid jobs with the lifestyle to match.
"Companies need to understand an apprentice may not always contribute towards a business in year one but in years two, three and four they make a major contribution becoming a valued, loyal employee, earning money and providing home-grown skills.
"Although these figures suggest the message may be getting through that apprenticeships are once again a real alternative to going to university, we also need to see more graduates coming into industry too."

Semta is encouraging firms of all sizes to get in touch for help to access funding, quality training providers and a suite of tools designed to give a return on their investment.
Semta supports the recruitment, mentoring and training of apprentices and graduates, assesses supply chain capability to produce a company training plan, and provides high quality work programmes for those on the shop floor - through to managing director.

Semta
Semta is the employer-led Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in the UK. The sectors it represents are: Aerospace, Automotive, Composites, Electrical, Electronics, Maintenance, Marine, Mathematics, Mechanical, Metals and Engineered Metal Products, Renewables and Science. Its role is to raise skills levels and competitiveness in the 128,000 companies and 1.66 million-strong workforce that make up these sectors. Its National Skills Academy for Manufacturing delivers an independent national standard for manufacturing training content, delivery and process by focusing on business return which is typically 6:1. www.semta.org.uk

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