EngineeringUK has run an analysis of the data related to the engineering and technology sector of the new full-year (2022–23) apprenticeships data for England, which were recently released by the Department for Education.
Engineering-related apprenticeship starts have decreased by 2.4 per cent since 2021–22; however, this decrease is smaller than was seen across all subject areas (3.5 per cent). Engineering-related apprenticeship starts are also still lower than they were before the pandemic – down 7.7 per cent since 2018–19. Between 2021–22 and 2022–23, Level 2 apprenticeship starts in engineering-related apprenticeships have decreased by 22.6 per cent.
‘The latest apprenticeships data paints a concerning picture for the engineering sector and for the prospect of growing the UK’s engineering workforce to address acute skills shortages,’ said Beatrice Barleon, head of policy and public affairs at EngineeringUK. ‘With apprenticeship starts in the engineering sector down since last year, it is becoming clear that a lot more needs to be done to make apprenticeships a success story.
‘Particularly concerning is the decline in Level 2 apprenticeship starts by almost a quarter since last year, alongside a reduction in numbers of young people aged 16–19 taking up apprenticeships since 2017–18,’ she continued. ‘Lower-level apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3 offer opportunities for young people from a wide range of backgrounds to access jobs in engineering and tech. We need to see more opportunities available at these levels so that more young people from all backgrounds are able to join the engineering and tech workforce, providing the capacity and skills the sector desperately needs.
‘We will continue to play our part in growing and sustaining engineering and technology apprenticeships, including taking forward the recommendations from our recently published five-point plan,’ she concluded.
The full analysis of the data can be found here, while EngineeringUK’s inquiry report, ‘Fit for the future: Growing and sustaining engineering and technology apprenticeships for young people’, can be found here.