By Daniel Hunter

Europe’s largest group of engineers is calling for reform to the Government’s flagship apprenticeship scheme to ensure the right skills are being provided to boost economic growth.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) says that rebalancing the UK’s economy will require qualified, skilled engineers and technicians at all levels.

It is calling on the Government not to simply play a "numbers game" but to ensure that money is invested in apprenticeship programmes that will be central to economic recovery, such as engineering and technology.

The warning coincides with a report from the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, which also calls for urgent reform to apprenticeships.

“The UK has seen welcome growth and investment in apprenticeships in the last few years," Paul Davies, IET Head of Policy, said.

"However, standards must be maintained and the training should be better monitored in order to provide the skills needed to boost economic growth.

“Young people and their parents must be confident that the career path they choose will lead to a real job and exciting opportunities. We need to promote the fact that a high quality apprenticeship can be just the beginning of an exciting engineering career.

“Companies need to provide clear career progression routes through further education, experience and training to enable the best to meet the needs of the business and to reach the heights of the engineering profession.”

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