National Apprenticeship Week runs from 11-15 March 2013.
The IET's range of initiatives to support apprentices now includes a high-profile award.
To coincide with Apprenticeship Week 2013, the IET has launched a high-profile IET Apprentice of the Year Award.
Designed to recognise the vital importance of apprentices to the engineering and technology community and society at large, the new award will be made annually to an outstanding individual or team working on an IET approved apprenticeship scheme.
Chair of the Awards and Prizes Committee of the IET, Suzanne Flynn, said: “As National Apprentice Week celebrates how vital apprentices are to the UK workforce, the IET would also like to show our appreciation by introducing this new award.
“The criteria for the award are high, as we want to recognise those apprentices who are outstanding representatives of the engineering profession.”
This new award is complemented by a wide range of other work done by the IET to support and champion apprentices. The IET currently has 2,147 apprentice members and currently works with over 60 approved apprenticeship providers, including Bentley, E.ON, Unilever and Network Rail.
The IET maps the learning outcomes of apprenticeship qualifications against UK-SPEC and the ICTTech standard and works with the Sector Skills Councils to adjust and enhance the content of apprenticeships.
It visits companies to discuss and approve the delivery of engineering apprenticeships, share best practice and promote all the services of the IET to apprentices and technicians.
The end result of the mapping and approval is the ability to use the 'Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship' qualification as full evidence for technician registration.
The 'IET Apprentice Signature' programme, due to be launched in July 2013, hopes to guide apprentices through their course, offering them knowledge, support and networking opportunities along the way. Specifically tailored for apprentices, this special offering will act as an introduction to their professional home for life at the IET.
Education policy advisor at the IET, Stephanie Fernandes, said: “At the IET we are committed to helping young engineers and technicians develop their careers and work towards professional registration, whether they are doing degrees or apprenticeships.
“Rebalancing the UK's economy will require qualified, skilled engineers and technicians at all levels. Properly accredited and approved apprenticeships provide a high-quality alternative to traditional academic routes for our future workforce.”
Applications for the first IET Apprentice of the Year Award close on 31 May 2013. You can find out more about the Award, and two other new IET awards for technicians, on the IET website.