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National Apprenticeship Week: Here’s what you missed

Author : Sophia Bell, Group Editor, DPA

09 February 2024

National Apprenticeship Week, taking place on 5-9 February, saw a number of manufacturing companies stepping up their efforts to invest in the future workforce and bridge the skills gap. Here, we break down some standout initiatives from this year’s celebration.

Image courtesy of AMRC
Image courtesy of AMRC

AMRC Training Centre
The AMRC Training Centre, in collaboration with McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive, has introduced a new advanced-level composites technician apprenticeship.

This initiative aims to cultivate a skilled workforce capable of driving innovation in manufacturing, particularly within sectors like automotive, aerospace, and renewable industries. 

Matt Bradney, Skills and Workforce Development Director for Composites UK, which is supporting the initiative, said: “Composite materials are critical in order for the UK to meet its net zero targets and composites is an exciting and growing industry for young people to be involved in. There are various entry points, a key one being the composite technician apprenticeship. 

“For the apprentice, learning and earning on the job is a great way to get a head start. For the employer, the new apprenticeship model launched by the AMRC gives flexibility in the delivery of the learning aspect, making it easier to get involved with a more efficient way to develop the workforce of the future.”

FDM Group
FDM Group is seeking to close the gender gap in the tech industry with its Girls Into Tech programme, designed to inspire and empower young women to pursue careers in technology. 

Through workshops and boot camps, selected girls from local schools in London and Leeds will gain insights into various tech roles and career pathways. Participants will be provided with mentorship opportunities which will equip them with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the digital age.

Alexander Battery Technologies (ABT)
Based in the North East, ABT is investing in the next generation of talent through its apprenticeship programmes. 

By offering apprenticeships across departments such as engineering, administration, and marketing, ABT is addressing the skills gap in the battery technology sector while providing young people with valuable hands-on experience and mentorship support. 

Through strategic partnerships with local training providers, ABT ensures that apprentices receive a blend of classroom learning and practical training, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development.

Schneider Electric
With a focus on green jobs and regional skills development, Schneider Electric is doubling its apprenticeship placements across the UK and Ireland, with a significant portion allocated to Leeds following a recent investment in the area. 

The company's apprenticeship programme offers a dynamic route to success, combining technical training with hands-on experience and career progression opportunities. 

By expanding apprenticeship opportunities, Schneider Electric aims to play a pivotal role in shaping the workforce of tomorrow while promoting the benefits of apprenticeships, to combat prevailing misconceptions.

“We know that apprenticeships create skills for life, but we also appreciate that there is still a general lack of awareness in the market about their benefits. Often, people don’t know where to start, or perceive roles to be limited to manual labour,” said Kelly Becker, President UK & Ireland of Schneider Electric.

“National Apprenticeship Week … should serve as a reminder that businesses must play a vital role in changing perceptions, including by working with education providers to increase the understanding of the opportunities available.”

As National Apprenticeship Week concludes, these initiatives serve as inspiring examples of how companies are leveraging apprenticeships to drive innovation, foster talent, and create inclusive workplaces. By investing in the next generation of professionals, these organisations are not only securing their own futures but also contributing to the growth and prosperity of the engineering industry as a whole. 


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