Young people completing apprenticeships should be given more chance to gain professional qualifications, a senior engineering figure has insisted.
Institution of Civil Engineers director-general Nick Baveystock called for changes to the training system as National Apprenticeship Week got underway.
A Traditional Apprenticeship combines studying at college with experience on-site over a two to four year period. Apprentices can achieve an NVQ or SVQ qualification, helping them qualify them for an industry card.
Baveystock said: “Apprenticeships have received strong cross-party support, however more needs to be done to increase the quality – not just the quantity -of apprenticeships and those on the schemes should have the opportunity to go on and gain professional qualifications at the end, setting them up for careers in their chosen fields.”
He added that tackling skills shortages was critical after the forthcoming general election.
“The UK can only thrive if it has a vibrant, technically and intellectually proficient workforce, and the next government must place this at the heart of their economic growth policies,” said Baveystock.
“Support for the ‘Trailblazer’ scheme – where groups of employers club together to set up apprenticeship schemes tailored to the needs of business – should continue and government must also take steps to ensure schools communicate the wide range of science, technology, engineering and maths career paths available, including apprenticeships.”