More work needed to boost science apprenticeships


THE Science Industry Partnership (SIP), an employer-led membership alliance supported by Warrington-based Cogent Skills, has announced its latest apprenticeship survey findings.

They have also launched a new group to support the sector’s apprenticeship ambitions.
Coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week the SIP’s new Apprenticeship Strategy Group will strengthen employer engagement to ensure the apprenticeship system accurately reflects the needs of employers.
The report provides insight into the use of apprenticeships and their funding after examining data from employers across the UK science industry. The latest figures reveal that whilst the science industry continues to embrace apprenticeships and technical education, more work is required to deliver the vision of apprenticeships for the sector.
The research shows that science-industry organisations have a far greater proportion of Higher-Level Apprentices (51 per cent) when compared across all sectors (19 per cent) and that 18 per cent of apprentices are working at Levels Six or Seven, leaping from just six per cent in 2018.
Research was first undertaken in 2018 in response to the Life Sciences Sector Deal with the ambition of bolstering the 250,000 skilled scientific and technical employees needed through to 2025; the 2020 report provides an evidence base on how the apprenticeship system is working and what changes the sector would like to see.
The new SIP Apprenticeship Strategy Group will work collaboratively to improve accessibility and deliver the vision of apprenticeships for the science-using industries. Key priorities will be engaging science employers of all sizes to ensure that quality, standards, and end-point assessments are appropriately designed, and that the science industry has representation throughout the skills system.
Stephen Stewart, Global Talent Lead at GlaxoSmithKline, said:
“The findings of this report reinforce the science sector as leading the way in the application and use of Apprenticeships in industry. Since our recommendations made in 2018, several new Apprenticeship standards were approved for use within the science sector. There is no doubt these have helped contribute to this upward trend of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships by establishing parity between some academic and vocational pathways into the industry.
“Delivering a vision for Apprenticeships within the science sector requires close collaboration between employers and Government, and I am delighted that the SIP will be establishing a new Apprenticeship Strategy Group to shape and drive forward our ambitious agenda.”



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