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Apprenticeship models are flourishing

Reforms to apprenticeship provision are now bearing fruit across the UK, helping address the skills shortfall says ICE Vice President for Regions Emer Murnaghan.

Apprentice vacancies are now readily advertised in ‘early careers’ sections on employers’ websites, and more training providers are developing courses and employer partnerships. Windows of opportunity are opening more frequently to individuals from all backgrounds. An apprenticeship is widely accepted as a real and flourishing alternative training/study route into the profession.

The five ICE-accredited Trailblazer programmes in England had just over 1,000 starts in 2018/19 compared to the 289 in the previous year. 600 were for civil engineering degree-level programmes. Increased numbers are predicted in other UK regions too.

The various ‘earn while you learn’ apprenticeship models offered across the UK essentially all involve 80% workplace and 20% off-the-job training, the latter usually provided by a college or a university. This mix provides the apprentice with opportunities to apply learning, work on live projects and to share problems and experiences with peers and more experienced colleagues

The arrangement suits the employer too, providing a productive and effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled, diverse and qualified workforce. By investing in apprentices’ training and development, employers report that 90% stay on after completing their apprenticeship. Helping to provide the best opportunities for post-apprenticeship professional qualification, ICE is working with employers and providers in ever closer partnerships.

M&CCE Expo supporter ICE has a dedicated Apprenticeship Manager to oversee engagement and communication with all apprenticeship stakeholders across the UK regions.

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