By Daniel Hunter

Apprenticeships to train people to become commercial airline pilots, lawyers, accountants and engineers have been announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Higher Apprenticeships enable the Government to drive economic growth by targeting specific sectors where advanced skills gaps have been identified.

For example, it is estimated that between now and 2030 European airlines will need to recruit 92,500 new pilots while the UK will need to train 96,300 new engineers over the next four years just to replace those who are due to retire.

Higher Apprenticeships also allow people to pursue degree level study while getting paid, widening access routes and helping to widen participation.

The second round of the £25 million Higher Apprenticeship Fund will support the development of 4,230 new Higher Apprenticeships in sectors including aviation, low carbon engineering, legal services and space engineering.

Employers, including British Airways, Siemens, PWC, Unilever and the UK Space Agency will benefit from world class, nationally accredited technical training delivered in the workplace.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Through the Higher Apprenticeship Fund we can target sectors where skills shortages are threatening to choke off growth.

“They also help us break down the doors of professions that are not representative of the society in which we live. It cannot be right for example that only 4 per cent of registered commercial airline pilots are women.

“Higher Apprenticeships are an essential step in rebalancing our economy and building a fairer country where growth is spread evenly and opportunities are not limited to the privileged.”

Skills Minister John Hayes said:

“By radically increasing the number of degree level apprenticeships we are putting practical learning on a level footing with academic study.

“Doing an apprenticeship should be one of the best gateways to university-level study. Through the Higher Apprenticeship Fund we are creating 23,000 places for young people to take degree-equivalent Higher Apprenticeships in sectors like space engineering and renewable energy.”

David Way, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service said:

“The expansion of the Higher Apprenticeships underpins our commitment to raising the quality of Apprenticeships.

“We are seeing major employers opening up recruitment and training to young apprentices. Young people and their parents can see clear opportunities to climb the jobs ladder right to the top through taking up Apprenticeships.”

Procter & Gamble Higher Apprentice Lori Douglass said:

“I have enjoyed every minute of my apprenticeship with P&G. As well as an exciting career with excellent progression opportunities, I have gained confidence and a wealth of invaluable experience and training.”

Nine partnerships comprising employers and training providers will receive a total of £6m, following a competitive bidding process.

This is the final tranche of projects being supported by a £25m fund for Higher Apprenticeships and builds on the 21 projects announced in December last year.

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