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South: EEF reveals eight in 10 manufacturers plan to recruit an apprentice

By Dan Teuton
21 March 2016

A record number of manufacturers are looking to recruit apprentices this year, according to a new survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation. Almost eight in 10 (79%) plan to recruit a manufacturing and engineering apprentice, while 45% intend to recruit an apprentice for other roles, such as IT, marketing and management.

 The good news came just ahead of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (March 14 to 18), designed to raise awareness of the value of apprenticeships and the range of opportunities available to young people today. 

Jim Davison, South East region director at EEF, said: “Manufacturers have a long track record of championing high-quality apprenticeships. Despite this, our strength in this field often flies under the radar, which could mean both young people and their would-be employers losing out.

"Raising awareness is key – almost three quarters of manufacturers say that greater awareness of apprenticeships would encourage more young people into manufacturing. National Apprenticeship Week has a vital role to play in this and our sector is backing it every step of the way.”

Manufacturing and engineering accounted for 15% of all apprenticeships started last year with over 74,000 young people taking up apprenticeships, at an average basic hourly pay of £6.50 per hour, almost double the £3.30 minimum wage for apprentices. 40% were advanced and higher apprenticeships.