Apprenticeships Supporting UK Manufacturing

Date: March 3, 2023

The skills and labour shortage in the manufacturing industry is a persistent concern that facility managers have been working against for many years. Fortunately, one promising solution is the increased number of successful apprenticeship schemes nationwide.

The manufacturing industry has many different entrances, with an abundance of roles available for dedicated people interested in starting a profitable career, and one of the most popular places to start is through an apprenticeship.

engineering apprentice

State of the industry

UK Manufacturing is a highly sought-after industry due to the high quality of our created components, but the domestic concerns related to the economic state of manufacturing and employment figures have presented significant challenges to overcome.

While the UK has one of the highest university attendance rates globally, there is still a significant shortage of talented people working in technical areas such as general manufacturing.

Low Recruitment Figures

The UK manufacturing sector has struggled for many years with declining employment numbers; this has been attributed to many potential factors. For example, the limited talent available creates significant competition over them. Additionally, the current manufacturing industry seems male-dominated, discouraging an entire gender of potential new female engineers, but various awareness campaigns are working to combat this false impression.

Issues like these have inspired innovations regarding smart factories and new work processes that are less labour-intensive. In addition, complex computer-based automation allows employees to be upskilled in new areas of the business but can be challenging to existing team members.

These challenges are reduced thanks to apprenticeships as these schemes increase awareness of the roles, processes and diversity within the manufacturing industry. These temporary negatives provide potential bonuses for anyone looking for a profitable career in this essential field. This is a great time for new apprentices to take advantage of the abundant positions available and find their place in STEM.


What is STEM Apprenticeship?

STEM is an anacronym for:

  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics

STEM educations prepare people for the technical workplaces associated with manufacturing. These four disciplines will provide the essentials and will be combined with your apprenticeship studies to create a more contextual education related to your chosen field. In addition, STEM education provides students with many opportunities in practical, hands-on industries such as die casting.

Whilst people of any age can study STEM disciplines and take apprenticeships, there are T-levels aimed at younger students specifically designed to help get them started on a career in industry.

What to Expect?

The apprenticeship you choose will provide you with a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ), a national diploma in engineering, and a BTEC or City & Guilds certificate. Additionally, many employers will consider hiring successful apprentices for their team and starting their careers. However, before this, you need to complete the apprenticeship. Each one generally consists of the following.

Classroom Study

Every apprenticeship includes a mixture of classroom study and practical instruction. Students will be required to complete assignments, report practical training and develop their skills in theory so they can be applied practically later.

Hands-on Education

The apprentice will need to attend the chosen company’s location for hands-on, practical training at least once a week to complete assigned assessments required to earn their BTEC qualification. Most apprentices will work with companies in their local area, which may limit the available choices.

apprenticeships digital courses

Digital Apprenticeships

Most people imagine apprenticeships as an entirely hands-on style of study either in a classroom or facility, but new technology has brought a convenient addition to apprenticeships; online learning.

The inclusion of online learning has significantly increased the number of manufacturing apprentices exploring the industry. Various online platforms accessible at any time are making it easier for students to learn and master new skills related to the field. It is especially useful for people who need to study for their upcoming apprenticeship at unusual times, such as evenings and weekends. They are also used for existing manufacturing team members who wish to upskill in a more advanced area or shift to a different role.

engineering apprentice

Benefits for Apprentices and Employers

The companies that offer apprenticeships benefit from them as much as the students themselves. Supporting these schemes helps combat the industries struggling skills shortage but also puts your business in a great place to find passionate people new to the industry and incorporate them as effective team members.

Dean Group: UK-Based Investment Casting

At Dean Group, we believe in the apprenticeship schemes and their ability to secure the nation's manufacturing industry's future by showing passionate people the great career they could have. From our UK foundry, we provide a high-quality investment casting service for domestic and international clients. Our expert team members have an impressive amount of experience and knowledge they can share with new apprentices, providing them with practical information difficult to receive in the classroom. Contact us to discuss any areas of our metal casting business or ask any questions about starting a manufacturing career.

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