Technical apprenticeships : research into the need for and capacity to deliver STEM related Apprenticeship Provision in England

MCCAIG, Colin, CLAGUE, Lucy, HOGARTH, Terence and GAMBIN, Lynn (2014). Technical apprenticeships : research into the need for and capacity to deliver STEM related Apprenticeship Provision in England. Project Report. London, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to undertake an assessment of current Apprenticeship provision supporting key growth sectors in England which have substantial science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) content (for sake of brevity these have been referred to as Technical Apprenticeships in the current study). The study reports on the Apprenticeship system’s capacity to meet the demands of employers in these sectors both now and in the future. This assessment incorporates an analysis of the key drivers for change and the various constraints on provision. The research is based on a review of previous studies and various surveys, alongside interviews with key stakeholders, training providers, and employers. The interviews with employers in selected local labour markets, and with training providers and organisations in their supply chain, together with inputs from local labour market stakeholders, provide local area case studies of the supply of, and demand for, Technical Apprenticeships. As well as exploring employers’ rationales for recruiting Technical Apprentices, the study also addresses how employer participation in Technical Apprenticeships may be facilitated. The overall conclusion from the data analysis suggests that employers in sectors which have a substantial demand for STEM skills are slightly more likely to report difficulties filling vacancies for those jobs which would typically require an individual to have completed a Technical Apprenticeship or its equivalent. On the other hand, those employers which participated in the study – many of which were recurrent recruiters of Technical Apprentices – reported that they were able to satisfy their demand for suitably qualified people to take up Technical Apprenticeships. This was despite an increase in the number of employers providing such Apprenticeships. Some concerns were expressed by employers about the academic preparedness of young people looking to undertake the rigours of Technical Apprenticeships, but nearly all employers interviewed had been able to recruit the Apprentices they wanted. It may be suggested, tentatively, that the current stock of people qualified to a Technical Apprenticeship level is slightly too low, but that employers have been able to increase the flow of entrants into this form of training. At present, supply and demand are finely balanced with concerns expressed by employers that any marked increase in demand, which may arise as a consequence of the economy recovering and major infrastructure projects being commissioned, may result in skills shortages emerging. STEM related Apprenticeship Provision in England Employers were keen to balance the risk between ensuring that they had sufficient skills supply to meet future demand and avoiding training in excess of that demand given the relatively high costs they encountered in training Technical Apprentices.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Depositing User: Colin Mccaig
Date Deposited: 19 May 2015 08:44
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2015 12:58
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9687

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