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Thursday, February 29, 2024
EmploymentApprenticeship starts ‘insufficient’ in key growth sectors

Apprenticeship starts ‘insufficient’ in key growth sectors

A new report shows that some of the numbers of apprenticeship starts in key sectors do not meet the levels needed to address skills shortages.

Published by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as part of its Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP), the apprenticeships research looks at courses in key sectors – construction, engineering and manufacturing, health and social care, and digital.

It shows which courses are attracting the right levels of learners to bridge key skills gaps, and which courses are falling short.

Areas such as retrofitting, heat pump installation and steel trades such as welding do not currently have enough apprentices on programmes to meet demand, according to the data from the academic year 2022/23, along with electrical and mechanical engineering technicians.

Within the digital sector, the number of apprenticeship starts on courses focusing on artificial intelligence and cyber security has also been categorised as ‘insufficient’ compared to the demand from industry for people with these skills.

Apprenticeships in data analytics and cloud computing accounted for most of the starts in the digital sector.

Skills shortage

Chris Fletcher, policy director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (pictured), said: “The analysis shows that, in some areas, there is a discrepancy between the number of learners currently on apprenticeship programmes, and the individuals needed by employers with those specific skills.

“Employers have told us throughout our research for the Greater Manchester Local Skills Improvement Plan that there are skills gaps specific to their industry where there are not enough people coming through, such as: welding, people with retrofit skills, AI and cybersecurity, and electrical and mechanical engineering technicians.

“It is positive, however, to see that apprenticeships relating to nursing and care work are getting good levels of take up, particularly as these roles are regularly in high demand.

“As part of our role as the designated Employer Representative Body delivering and developing the LSIP on behalf of the Department for Education, we have highlighted this data and put recommendations in place so that training providers can deliver more courses where they are needed, but we also encourage employers to contact their local colleges and training providers to discuss their skills needs and talk through the skills that they’re missing.

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