Industry group pushes apprenticeships

Industry and manufacturing group Semta has added its voice to the calls for school leavers to consider apprenticeships rather than go to university.

“What’s not to like?” asked Ann Watson, Semta CEO. “Degree apprenticeships are by far the most cost-effective way of gaining a degree. They offer all the learning and the experience coupled with a clearly defined career path at the end of your studies – and no requirement to rack up huge debt in the process.

“Employers in engineering and advanced manufacturing are crying out for high calibre school leavers to take up apprenticeships. Our figures show that by earning and learning and negating the need to pay ever-increasing tuition fees, apprentices and particularly higher apprentices can be, within two years of qualifying, be as much as £80,000 better off than their peers who go straight to university.”

Companies looking to hire apprentices were given a boost recently with the government launching the Apprenticeship Levy, which will reward employers with premium payments for training new members of staff.

“With the levy coming in from next year it will make perfect sense for employers to expand degree apprenticeships, train a new generation of high-skill STEM talent and get back what they’ve put into the levy pot,” added Watson.