As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off, over at Make UK (formerly EEF) we are calling on the manufacturing industry to promote apprenticeships as the perfect pathway to a fulfilling career.
And with the Government recently launching its Fire it Up campaign, now is the perfect time for manufacturing employers to sell their apprenticeships to the next generation.
Let's be honest, there is a lot of good stuff to be talking about. Almost eight in ten manufacturers are currently offering apprenticeships meaning the doors to learners of all ages are open to those wanting to earn while they learn.
School leavers and those already in the workplace alike can find the perfect training tailored to their individual needs through apprenticeships.
Apprentices can progress from the shop floor to the top floor with apprenticeship opportunities starting from intermediate level all the way up to degree or post-graduate level, meaning learners can gain degree level qualifications without acquiring a penny of debt.
Long gone are the days when academic pathways such as university were the only options for bright, talented young people. Apprenticeships are now firmly and proudly in the spotlight.
Manufacturing is the industry to choose your apprenticeship in, previously seen as dated, and repetitive, our sector is leading the fourth industrial revolution, using pioneering and cutting edge technology, applying new digital technology and techniques and working to solve the world’s grand challenges.
However, we can't take our foot off the pedal just yet, there is more work to be done with just 6% of students at state-funded mainstream schools and colleges going onto an apprenticeship after key stage 5 compared to 50% that went on to a UK higher education institution .
There is also an urgent need to tackle the gender imbalance with women making up less than 9% of STEM Apprenticeships, meaning 9 in 10 STEM apprenticeships are undertaken by men.
National Apprenticeship Week is the perfect platform for manufacturers to be shouting from the rooftops about the opportunities within our vibrant and innovative sector. From shop floor to top floor, manufacturers are investing in the next generation of innovators, creators and makers through apprenticeships.
The doors are wide open to learners who are ready to grasp these opportunities.