Government backs pilot apprenticeships
The government is launching an apprenticeship scheme that will enable young people to train as airline pilots and engineers, the BBC has reported.
In the second round of the £25 million higher apprenticeships initiative, funding is being provided for some 4,230 placements across the UK, with the involvement of employers such as British Airways, Siemens and the UK Space Agency meaning that participants will be able to pursue degree-level study, while getting paid.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said that the scheme is targeting sectors "where skills shortages are threatening to choke off growth".
The BBC reported that the government has said that over the next four years the UK will need to train 96,300 engineers to replace those due to retire.
It is hoped that these apprenticeships will help to provide a solution to this skills shortage. The business secretary was also reported as saying that higher apprenticeships would "help us break down the doors of professions that are not representative of the society in which we live".
He added: "It cannot be right for example that only 4% of registered commercial airline pilots are women."
Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills, said: "Future skills shortages in key sectors could hold back our economic performance, so boosting higher level apprenticeships now is the right thing to do.
"Sectors like high technology and science-based advanced manufacturing and IT are a good place to start."
The higher apprenticeships for commercial pilots will be provided by vocational body City & Guilds. Director Simon Witts told the BBC that they would offer "a more affordable, accessible route to a recognised qualification".