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👩‍🏭 We don't like apprenticeships, we love them!

Manufacturing Mondays
Manufacturing Mondays
Strap in folks, it’s a bumper edition of Manufacturing Mondays!
This week is National Apprenticeship Week! Apprenticeships in manufacturing are critical to ensuring that employers are equipped with the right skills for the transition to a digital and green future for the manufacturing sector, as well as being at the heart of delivering the high-paid, high-skilled jobs across the country that the Government wants to see.
And there has been good news on apprenticeships in recent weeks, with new data showing that:
  • a 43% overall increase in new apprenticeship starts in autumn 2021 compared with the same period in 2020 – and even a slight increase on pre-COVID numbers.
  • the number of people starting new engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships in this period was almost double that in the same period in 2020 – making it one of the sectors with the highest growth rates in new apprentice numbers.
However, we still believe that more can be done to help firms to recruit and retain apprentices, and avoid the £2 billion in unspent apprenticeship levy funds currently being returned to the Treasury.
By allowing employers to use their levy funds to help to pay their apprentices’ wages, the Government can encourage even more investment in high-quality training to boost the manufacturing workforce.
✍🏽 This week’s intro remarks are from Jamie Cater, Senior Policy Manager (Labour Market and Skills).

This year’s theme is ‘Build the Future’ and this couldn’t be more relevant to the thousands of apprentices working in the manufacturing sector, creating, innovating and making our future. In an average year, 8 in 10 manufacturers recruit an apprentice in their business so it really isn’t an exaggeration when we say they are the lifeblood of our sector!
So this week we’ll be celebrating their successes, and recognising that we can all do more to encourage young people to explore apprenticeships. Because as poet Casey Bailey so eloquently said:
Most people that make history, actually make the future.
Make UK Future Makers by Casey Bailey
Make UK Future Makers by Casey Bailey
📊 Show me the numbers
Also this week we’ll be continuing to push Government on making the Apprenticeships Levy work for manufacturers. The latest data shows that there were 22,000 engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships starts, but that figure remains below pre-Levy levels. That’s why on National Apprenticeship Week we are calling for a targeted sectoral approach to boosting apprenticeship starts.
Financial Times Apprenticeships in England rebound to pre-pandemic levels
Did you know?
🤔 More people have undertaken an apprenticeship than you think. Did you know these celebrities were former apprentices?
  • Alexander McQueen - A famous fashion designer in the UK, acquired an apprenticeship by knocking on doors on Savile Row as a teenager. Later in life, he worked as chief designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001 and founded his own Alexander McQueen label in 1992.
  • Jamie Oliver - The well-known chef Jamie Oliver acquired a number of apprenticeships at eateries all around London after receiving two GCSEs at school and an NVQ in home economics.
  • Stella McCartney -  She did a tailoring apprenticeship with Edward Sexton at Savile Row. Two years later she was made Creative Director of Chloe, a French luxury fashion house. Now, McCartney is an award-winning fashion designer and a household name. She has been proudly appointed OBE for her services to fashion and she has definitely inspired the fashion industry.
A week of activity
📣 We’ve got *a lot* planned this week so here is just some of the activity this week.
📅 Tuesday - Join us for the joint DfE and National Manufacturing Skills Taskforce webinar on #AskAnEmployer day. Sign up to hear from Nestle, Siemens and many more on why recruiting an apprentice can transform your business. And if that isn’t enough, the webinar will be chaired by none other than Dame Judith Hackitt.
Live #AskAnEmployer Q&A
👀 Ps. On Tuesday we also have another exciting announcement we can’t quite talk about yet, so make sure you are following us on Twitter to find out what it is.
📅 Thursday - It’s #ThankYouThursday and we’ll be celebrating all the wonderful apprentices who picked up awards at our National Manufacturing Gala Dinner a few weeks back.
Make UK
Tonight we’re bringing together businesses and apprentices from across the UK to reward their hard work and celebrate their successes as we announce the results of the National Awards.

Share your posts with us #mfgdinner 🥂
📅 The weekend - On Saturday our Aston Technology Hub is hosting an open day, an opportunity to meet our team and some of the apprentices, and learn about what is involved in an apprenticeship and how to apply.
Make UK Apprenticeship Open Day Tickets, Sat 12 Feb 2022 at 10:00
Guess who we've been talking to
⚙ The biggest issue of them all – skills – with the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi MP and Education Minister Michelle Donelan MP.
We heard more about the Government’s new Future Skills Unit. Sounds like it’s focused solely on data and not so much on policy. But if they want policy ideas – we’ve got plenty! T Levels was also on the agenda, which our members see as the perfect steppingstone to Apprenticeships. If only we could convince DfE to rethink the Apprenticeship Levy…
👀 How to level up through UK manufacturing with Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Andy Haldane.
Ahead of the launch of the Levelling Up White Paper, we spoke to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Andy Haldane to share our initial thoughts on the Government’s much-awaited levelling up plans for 2030. The devil will be the detail, all 332 pages of it, but we penned our initial reaction to the impact it may have on UK manufacturing here.
Finally, we’re loving ‘Trade group top of the pops’ in last week’s London Influence from @matt_hfoster. We came in third, but we are looking to up our game this year, watch this space.
The Levelling Up White Paper finally landed
Nearly three years on since the words were first mentioned, last Wednesday we finally learnt what levelling up means, what the Government is aiming to achieve, and by when.
Government launches it's much-await Levelling Up plans
Government launches it's much-await Levelling Up plans
In short, levelling up is tackling regional inequality, which it aims to tackle through 12 new missions. But these missions can be better described as ‘targets’ or ‘metrics of success’ which set out in a quantifiable way, what the Government is wanting to achieve. Furthermore, the Government has also set a timeframe by which each of these missions must be achieved, 2030 - something not often done!
From local leadership to housing, to skills, we unpick what the missions are and how they may impact UK manufacturing.
We ❤️ policy and manufacturing, so let’s talk:
📱 Twitter
📧 Email
💬 LinkedIn
Copy editor: Bhavina Bharkhada, Head of Policy & Campaigns
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Manufacturing Mondays
Manufacturing Mondays @MakeUKCampaigns

We discuss the big issues impacting the UK manufacturing sector, and our policy ideas to overcome them.

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