Advanced Engineering Apprenticeships
Advanced Apprenticeships are jobs with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off-the-job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.
Profile of the advanced Engineering sector in England
- The engineering sector in England employs approximately 2.4 million people across nearly 120,000 establishments, with an estimated 1.27 million engineers, scientists and technologists working across the manufacturing sectors;
- Of these technical roles, around a third (458,000) are employed in higher-level technical roles made up of 67,000 technicians, 174,000 professional engineers and 217,000 engineering managers.
- The main sub-occupations within the higher-level technical occupations are:
- Technicians - engineering technicians, draftsperson, laboratory technicians, electrical and electronics technicians and quality assurance technicians.
- Professionals – mechanical engineers, design and development engineers, production and process engineers and planning and quality control engineers.
- Managers – production, works and maintenance managers, research and development
- Managers and quality assurance managers
Challenges facing the advanced manufacturing sector
- There is a demand from employers to increase the number of employees qualified to level NVQ Level 4 or equivalent and above in order to increase productivity and for them to remain competitive;
- The workforce is aging and 67,300 higher-level technical workers (13,400 per annum) are required over the period 2012-2016 to replace those retiring in England.
- Despite the recession, manufacturing employers still show a substantial demand for new recruits. In 2009, 3% of manufacturing establishments in England had vacancies for higher-level occupations. Of those manufacturing sites with vacancies for higher-level occupations:
- 16% had vacancies for technicians,
- 7% had vacancies for professionals
- 12% had vacancies for managers.
- Higher-level vacancies totalling 6,600, made up of 2,200 technicians, 3,200 professionals and 1,200 managers.
- Employers experiencing difficulties in filling higher-level occupations report that this impacts on their business by increasing the workload for other staff, increases operating costs, difficulties introducing new working practices and in meeting quality standards, delays in developing new products and services and loss of business orders to competitors.
- Between 2012 to 2016, there is expected to be a net requirement across the manufacturing sectors in England for 67,300 higher-level technical roles (15,500 technicians, 20,100 professional engineers and 31,700 engineering managers). This would equate to a total annual requirement for 13,400 people (3,100 technicians, 4,000 professionals engineers and 6,300 engineering managers). The majority of this requirement will be due to retirements (11% of the current workforce in higher-level technical occupations is aged 60 plus).
PROCAT offers a range of apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing and engineering and which broadly fit into the higher-level skills requirements for the following sectors:
- Fabrication and Welding
- Product Design