Boost in number of south west apprentices

39,400 apprenticeship starts in the South West since August 2014

  • 20,000 higher apprenticeships target smashed
  • Over 2.3 million apprenticeships created in the last Parliament

The Government confirmed today that the South West is playing a significant role in helping create a highly skilled and productive workforce that is supporting the country’s economic growth.

Today’s figures show that since the beginning of the academic year 2014/15 39,400 apprenticeships have been started in the region.

With 374,200 apprenticeships created across the whole country since August 2014, employers throughout the South West are playing their part in providing young people with the skills they need to start a rewarding career.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

“Small, medium and large employers in the South West are playing a crucial role in creating a modern and competitive workforce that boosts the country’s productivity and prosperity.

“I want to work with as many of these businesses as possible to ensure they continue to shape the future of apprenticeships so that we can reach the target of 3 million by 2020.”

The figures also show nationally more than 22,000 higher apprenticeships have started since August 2013, beating the Chancellor’s target of 20,000 starts.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus currently employs 42 apprentices at its Filton site, including 35 higher apprentices. Tony Rooke, Airbus’s Early Careers Manager, sits on the Trailblazer group which, along with others from companies including BAA Systems, Rolls Royce, GKN and Jaguar Land Rover are helping to design the new apprenticeship standards for England.

He said:

“Through higher apprenticeships we can develop young people and give them an excellent appreciation of our business and our products. Likewise the apprentices benefit by studying for their degree in Aerospace Engineering. At the end of their programme they will have a degree, over 3 years business experience and be well on the way to professional accreditation.”

Lewis Gribble, 20, from Bristol is an Aeronautical Design Engineer Apprentice at Airbus. He began the apprenticeship in September 2012, and is currently completing the third year of a degree in Aeronautical Engineering to graduate in 2015.

He said:

“The apprenticeship at Airbus has continually provided development opportunities and enabled me to progress within the industry, while being supported in my academic development at the University of the West of England in partnership with the City of Bristol College.

“The apprenticeship has provided many opportunities such as travelling abroad and networking and I would definitely recommend a higher apprenticeship to prospective students. I look forward to completing the apprenticeship and continuing my career in my final role within Airbus as a Design Engineer on the A330NEO plateau.”

The statistics also show that the Government’s efforts to increase the quality of apprenticeships helped drive employer demand higher than previously forecast, with more than 2.3 million apprenticeships created across the country in the last Parliament.

Building on this success, the Government is committed to supporting a further 3 million quality apprenticeships by 2020.

These positive figures follow the Skills Minister’s announcement earlier this month that public bodies – including schools, hospitals, prisons and police forces – will be set clear targets to employ apprentices as part of their workforce and play their part in creating 3 million apprenticeships.