Decline in apprentices set to ‘jeopardise’ UK’s ability to compete

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EngineeringUK claims the shortfall of under 19s taking advanced engineering apprenticeships could jeopardise the UK's ability to compete against leading economies.

It latest report – Engineering UK 2014 – found the number of those aged 19 or younger taking engineering related Advanced Level Apprenticeships declined of 12.2% to 16,280. EngineeringUK's chief executive Paul Jackson said: "Positive action has been taken to address the skills gap at all levels. The recent Perkins review and announcement of investment in universities and further education colleges' science and engineering facilities will build a foundation to accelerate skills growth in the sector. "However, it is vital we focus on attracting new talent into the industry. As the UK economy's engine for growth, it is crucial that engineering gains sustained support for education, training and careers inspiration." Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: "As the economy recovers, the need for more skilled engineers across the country will continue to grow. It is critical that we close the engineering skills gap, which is why government is working in partnership with industry to encourage more young people, particularly women, to pick the right GCSE and A Level subjects to lead to engineering degrees. "I want the next decade to be the decade of the engineer. In doing this, we will build a more balanced and sustainable economy delivering high skills and innovation with engineers of all kinds at its heart." EngineeringUK has called for: * The number of under 19s studying vocational level 3 qualifications to be doubled. * The number of engineering graduates to be doubled. * The numbers of young people studying GSCE physics as part of triple sciences to be doubled and for the numbers of students studying physics A level to match those of maths. * Provision of careers inspiration for all 11 to 14 year olds. * Support for teachers and careers advisors in delivering careers information that helps students understand the range of modern scientific, technological, and engineering career paths.