Adult Engineering Apprentices Up 88 Percent

A new paper from EngineeringUK reveals that there has been an 88 per cent increase in the number of adult engineering apprentices (25 +) between 2009 and 2010, compared to an 8 per cent decrease in young engineering apprentices (16-18) and a 9 per cent decrease in engineering apprentices overall across all ages.

This unprecedented rise in apprentices over 25 is thought to be linked to a new funding stream introduced in 2007 for adult apprenticeships which, along with a number of other potential factors, has initiated an increased demand for retraining opportunities following the economic downturn.

Significantly, the 9 % fall in engineering apprenticeships comes against the backdrop of a 7 per cent rise in apprenticeships across all subjects, something the National Apprenticeship Service sees as evidence that employers are recognising the need to up-skill existing staff.

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, said:

“This nine per cent decrease in engineering, manufacturing and technology apprentices is concerning, particularly when viewed against the overall 7 % rise. It is not enough to create new Apprenticeships alone. If the UK is to live up to the recent skills white paper and create a class of highly skilled technicians, we must create them in strategically important subjects such as engineering and manufacturing. We hope to see all political parties address this issue in the forthcoming election campaign.”

Notes to Editors


EngineeringUK, formerly the ETB, is an independent organisation that promotes the vital contribution of engineers, engineering and technology in our society. EngineeringUK partners business and industry, government and the wider science and engineering community: producing evidence on the state of engineering, sharing knowledge within engineering and inspiring young people to choose a career in engineering, matching employers’ demand for skills. For more information about EngineeringUK please visit

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