As employers look to spend some of that apprenticeship levy funding sitting in their online accounts, we will hopefully see a big increase in the numbers of degree apprenticeships they’re offering – especially in engineering, a sector where there is projected to be a big shift in the workforce towards having higher education-level skills in the medium-term. The numbers, according to Semta’s own data, will go up by almost 50,000 by 2023, or over 7%.
That 50,000 covers all higher education completers, not just those who go to university to get degrees, and we’ll have Institutes of Technology soon, offering technical education at Levels 4-5 for those who want to continue with their studies but don’t want to go off to university. Recent government research found that “current level 4 and 5 qualifications are viewed positively within the (engineering) sector” – so for young people who didn’t quite get the grades needed to study at degree level, or those who want to take a more technically-oriented qualification which they can be sure has employer backing, there is a way for them to continue on with their studies. This is dependent on whether we can get the right information across to them – the research also found that “a lack of information available about related progression routes into higher education and employment”.
It’s really only a lack of information and outdated perceptions that can hold back the young people getting their A Level results today. My message to them is: Whatever your results, and whatever you’re going to do next, remember that this is just the start of your journey, not the end. These results don’t define you and they are not the sole measure of your talent and your aptitude. If you want to be an engineer, there are lots of great routes into the sector, and if you have the determination, you will get there!
For young people thinking about an apprenticeship, our Apprenticeship Service has lots of great vacancies – they’re all posted on Get My First Job.