Recent figures from the Department for Education suggest a substantial apprenticeships shift, as employers choose to train more higher apprenticeships than ever before.
In 2017/18, there were 48,150 higher level (level 4+) apprenticeship starts, compared to just 3,700 in 2011/12.
With the STEM skills gap alone continuing to cost the UK £1.5bn a year, it is a very real problem that apprenticeships have the ability to help with, and growing uptake suggests higher apprenticeships could form part of the solution.
Harry Williams, Digital Partnerships Manager at Best Apprenticeships, says: ”The apprenticeships market is showing a clear shift towards more technically demanding, higher skilled apprenticeships, with more high level apprenticeships being offered than ever before. The UK skills gap is one plausible explanation for this change in approach from business leaders.”
Since the 2016 apprentice policy reforms, apprenticeships have often been held-up as a possible solution to help plug the UK’s widening skills gap.
Higher apprenticeships offer a fantastic part-solution to our growing UK skills gap. They are cost-effective, tax-friendly, and utilise existing industry and educational infrastructure to produce highly skilled and motivated employees.
However, while the current shift to higher apprenticeships is surely positive in the short term, we must ensure that apprenticeships are promoted at all levels. If we fail to fill the gaps at all levels of skill, we risk creating an even bigger problem further down the road.
Notes to editor:
Best Apprenticeships is an early careers platform that helps connect ambitious young people with forward-thinking organisations and opportunities.
Press contact: Contact@Bestapprenticeships.com
Further information: Bestapprenticeships.com