The manufacturing and engineering sectors currently provide more than one in seven of all UK apprenticeships.
This is the finding of a survey by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, which found that nearly 80 per cent of its members were committed to hiring people on apprenticeships, Process Engineering reported.
In total, 78,000 apprenticeships were started across the sectors in 2015/16, EEF revealed.
Verity O’Keefe, EEF’s Senior Employment and Skills Policy Adviser, told the website: “Manufacturers are great champions of apprentices and for many years have offered high-quality apprenticeships that frequently turn into longer-term careers with the same company.”
However, EEF’s research also shows that more needs to be done to attract young people to apprenticeships, with almost seven times more school leavers going on to higher education than into an apprenticeship scheme.
Any employer taking on apprentices needs to make sure they communicate emergency response plans effectively with new employees, especially those who are new to this kind of working environment.
The importance of providing proper training and supervision to younger workers was highlighted last month when the HSE prosecuted a landscaping company after a 16-year-old on work experience severed a finger while working unsupervised on a log splitter.
As he was alone onsite at the time of the incident, no first aid was administered immediately following the accident and as a result he lost his finger as his injuries were too severe by the time he reached a hospital.
HSE Inspector Simon Jones stressed that any organisation taking on apprentices of this age “must take into account the young person’s inexperience”.