In London last September, 80% of new recruits were from disadvantaged backgrounds and 67% from minority ethnic groups.
The apprenticeships scheme was initiated by the Technician Apprenticeship Consortium (TAC) in 2010 who later partnered with the Royal Engineering Academy (RAEng) to unlock and access pools of untapped engineering talent such as young women, people from minority ethnic and less advantaged backgrounds.
Philip Greenish, chief executive of the RAEng, said: “The UK needs more skilled engineers. The development and success of these apprenticeships will help meet increasing demand for qualified engineers by widening access to the profession while at the same time contributing to social mobility.
The Royal Engineering Academy has stated that over the past three years, the scheme has grown from eight to more than 400 apprentices, whilst the number of companies participating in the TAC has risen from six to 30. TAC now has a model of good practice which involves a network of further education colleges, employers and professional engineering institutions.
Currently there are two active Advanced Technician Apprenticeships, one in civil engineering and the other in building services engineering. A third in transport planning engineering is currently in development.
The Academy said this is a formula that works and could be applied to more engineering fields – and beyond.