Apprenticeship scheme to boost UK engineering

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A new engineering apprenticeship scheme has been launched in the UK that aims to create 100,000 registered Engineering Technicians by 2018 and plug a potential skills shortage in the sector.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, launched the initiative which will give those enrolled structured on-the-job experience built upon a recognised academic qualification. The scheme has been created by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Gatsby Foundation.

Current estimates suggest that the UK needs to double the pipeline of new recruits into engineering, construction and manufacturing professions by 2020 to avoid a severe skills shortage in these sectors.

Mr Cameron said: ‘British engineering and innovation are a part of our history that we are rightly very proud of. Apprenticeships are at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy, giving young people the chance to learn a trade and to build their careers.’

Stephen Tetlow, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said of the apprenticeship initiative: ‘The Institution and its partners are concerned that the number of people pursuing engineering careers is just not enough to meet the current and future demands of the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors.

‘This initiative will ensure that the UK has a growing stream of Engineering Technicians being developed to a level that is recognised and respected around the world.’

The announcement was made alongside a full-size replica of the British Bloodhound Supersonic Car, which aims to be the first land vehicle to exceed 1,000mph by 2015. The Bloodhound SSC project was launched in 2008 to showcase the best of British engineering and help inspire the next generation of British engineers and scientists.

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