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Apprenticeship announcement brings new subject areas

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced that apprenticeships will be set up to train pilots, lawyers, accountants and engineers.

Higher Apprenticeships, which were introduced in 2009 to the engineering and IT sectors were designed to meet employers calls for higher level skills. They are now being used by the government in a bid to promote economic growth by targeting areas where advanced skills gaps have been identified.

Vince Cable said: “Through the Higher Apprenticeship Fund we can target sectors where skills shortages are threatening to choke off growth.”

It has been estimated that over the next 20 years,92,500 new pilots will have to be recruited by European airlines and that over the next four years the UK will need to train a staggering 96,3000 new engineers in order to replace staff who are currently due to retire.

Participating in a Higher Apprenticeship allows an individual to get the same level of learning that they would expect at degree level but they get paid while they train.

Round two of the £25 million Higher Apprenticeships Fund will support the development of 4,230 new Higher apprenticeships in areas such as aviation, low carbon engineering, legal services and space engineering.

A spokesman for Access Training, a Gateshead based company who deliver a range of training programmes including NVQs and apprenticeships said: “The Higher Level Apprenticeship widens the Apprenticeship offer to areas other than the traditional trade occupations and allows learners to access quality work based training at a professional level and in those areas with skills shortages while providing a viable career progression route.”

He continued to say: “Access Training have been offering Higher Level Apprenticeships in Accounting for some time and have just launched a Higher Level Apprenticeship in Management to Level 5. Both of which are very popular with learners and employers alike.”

British Airways, Siemans and the UK Space Agency are just some of the companies who will benefit from the nationally accredited technical training delivered in the workplace.

Several projects including City and Guilds, Loughborough College and Skills for Care were part of a bidding process to identify the most innovative proposals to meet employers’ skills requirements.

The Higher Apprenticeships Fund has given City and Guilds £217,800 in order to support the development of a Higher Apprenticeship Pathway for commercial airline pilots. This money will be used to help companies such as Jet2, British Airways and The Civil Aviation Authority address a predicted shortfall in pilot numbers and address the under representation with regard to ethnicity, gender and disability.

Simon Witts, the Director of City & Guilds for Business said: “At City & Guilds, enabling our learners to progress to the highest standard is a key area of focus, and in September we will be launching a suite of higher level apprenticeships. Not only will these support individuals to gain the necessary skills to the appropriate level that employers are looking for, but by addressing industry requirements, they will help to develop the skilled workforce the UK needs for future economic growth.”

He continued to say “Industry needs to innovate and fill skills gaps - and the aviation industry is no exception. In fact, in as little as five years, it will potentially face a shortfall of professional pilots. Further developing the current training structure is a priority, and that’s why our employer-focused arm, City & Guilds for Business, is developing the apprenticeship in conjunction with industry experts and employers, including the National Apprenticeship Service, the Civil Aviation Authority and, who has been the lead airline in assisting with development of the project.”

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, said: “Future skills shortages in key sectors could hold back our economic performance, so boosting higher level apprenticeships now is the right thing to do. Sectors like high-technology and science-based advanced manufacturing and IT are a good place to start”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Francesca Dent .

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