Press release

Apprenticeships are a great option for school leavers

25 August 2011


The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is urging young people receiving their GCSE results to consider a variety of routes into well paid professional careers, including apprenticeships as an excellent path towards being an engineer.

IET Director of Policy Dr Tony Whitehead said, “I encourage young people to think about their options and pursue the education and career path that is right for them. Those receiving their GCSE results have a wide range of real choices and career opportunities – engineering in particular offers something for everyone from vocational apprenticeships, for the more practically minded, through to graduate and post-graduate qualifications for the more academically inclined. Engineering employers offer well paid and rewarding jobs for well qualified technicians, graduates and post-graduates.”

Gareth James, Head of Education at the IET said, “Many school-leavers may be better off considering apprenticeships. Not only do they represent good all-round training for those wanting to avoid the costs associated with higher education, but they actually represent an opportunity to place apprentices far ahead of new graduates. As well as the chance to study for a degree as part of their programme, apprentices also receive hands-on industry experience and earn employability skills, such as team working, which many employers say university graduates still lack.”

The call from Europe’s largest professional body of engineers and technicians comes as it has seen a 50% increase in applications for its scholarships and grants on last year.

The IET, along with other representatives of the engineering and technology sectors, has been actively involved in promoting apprenticeships. Engineering and technology apprenticeships cover a diverse range of disciplines – including software, mechanical, micro-electronic engineering, as well as technician. Many recruiters in these sectors are bucking the trend by diversifying and expanding technology and engineering capabilities, increasing demand for recruits. In electricity generation and distribution there is a demand for suitably experienced and qualified people.

More information can be accessed via the IET’s E&T Career Guide, which can be found on http://www.theiet.org/careers/ and through the Tomorrow’s Engineers programme http://www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/ .

Media enquiries to:

Katie Stanton
Communications Executive

Tel: +44(0)1438 765608
Mob: +44(0)7738 713867
Email: kstanton@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • Please contact the Press Office for expert commentators on the options for young people receiving their GCSE results.
  • The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.
  • The IET offers a professional home for life for engineers and technicians and supports them throughout their careers.