National Apprenticeship Week – 10 key facts

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National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week (6th to 10th March) and marks ten years of promoting apprenticeships in the UK. Here, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, provides 10 key facts about apprenticeships and their importance and value to the sector and the wider economy:

  1. 72% of manufacturers say raising awareness of apprenticeships will get more young people into engineering[1]
  2. 79% of manufacturers were committed to recruiting engineering apprentices in 2016 - 45% were committed to recruiting apprentices in other parts of the business[2]
  3. 46% of manufacturers say they will increase their intake of engineering apprentices as a result of the new Apprenticeship Levy - 35% say they will recruit apprentices in other areas[3]
  4. A quarter of manufacturers (26%) believe the Apprenticeship Levy could encourage more young people to choose apprenticeships - three in ten (xx%) see it as an opportunity to increase apprenticeships within their business[4]
  5. In 2015/16 there were 78,480 manufacturing and engineering apprenticeship starts, representing 15% of all apprenticeship starts for the year[5]
  6. 40% of manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships in 2015-16 were at advanced or higher level[6]
  7. Only 7% of students at state-funded mainstream schools and colleges went on to an apprenticeship after key stage 5 compared to 48% that went on to a UK higher education institution[7]
  8. 55% of those who completed an apprenticeship last year were female – but women made up less than 6% of those who completed a STEM apprenticeship[8]
  9. Three-quarters of manufacturers say all their apprentices stay with the company upon completion of their apprenticeship[9]
  10. The average hourly pay rate for engineering apprentices is £6.50, almost double the minimum rate and engineering apprentices are more likely to receive a bonus[10].

Verity O’Keefe, Senior Employment and Skills Policy Adviser at EEF, says: “With the Apprenticeship Levy about to come into play, this years’ National Apprenticeship Week will be in sharp focus. With growing awareness and take up of apprenticeships, there’s much to celebrate. At the same time, there’s still much to do, particularly around boosting the number of young people and especially girls taking STEM subjects.

“Manufacturers are great champions of apprentices and for many years have offered high quality apprenticeships that frequently turn into longer-term careers with the same company. They applaud the fact that the new Apprenticeship Levy will help to encourage more young people into apprenticeship opportunities, but are deeply concerned that it could unwittingly dampen down the quality of what is on offer. It’s vital that the Government takes on board their concerns.”

Notes to editors:

  1. EEF Higher Education Survey 2013-14
  2. EEF, An Up-skill Battle (2016)
  3. EEF, Lifting the lid on the Levy (2017)
  4. EEF, Lifting the lid on the Levy (2017)
  5. The Data Service, apprenticeship starts by sector subject area (accessed 01/03/17)
  6. The Data Service, apprenticeship starts by sector subject area (accessed 01/03/17)
  8. WISE (accessed 01/03/2017)
  9. EEF, Skills Survey 2012
  10. BIS, Apprentice Pay Survey 2014


Media Team 020 7654 1576

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