Traditional entry routes to the professions have been evolving over the past few years with high level apprenticeship schemes becoming an alternative option to university.
We were excited to hear how Atkins, a major player in the design and engineering consultancy field, is launching higher apprenticeships in its aerospace division.
These are the highest level of apprenticeships and are designed for people who have the necessary excellent standards of maths and physics, but who don’t want to take the university route to becoming aerospace engineers.
Neil Kirk, managing director of Atkins’ aerospace engineering division and an engineer himself, said:
“Being an aerospace engineer is enormously rewarding because you get to be involved with solving some of today’s major challenges, such as how to make aircraft more fuel efficient. To become qualified though does take skill, determination and hard work. Most people do this through a university degree but for some – for a variety of reasons – that isn’t right for them, and that’s where higher apprenticeships come in. Atkins focuses on providing high quality engineering solutions to its clients, so the launch of higher apprenticeships is all about identifying the best talent and training and supporting people to reach their full potential."
The successful ‘level 5’ apprentices will be based at Atkins’ Bristol office alongside over 700 colleagues. They will join an aerospace team that is currently working on a range of high-profile projects including the Airbus A320 New Engine Option, Rolls-Royce engine projects and providing engineering support to the UK’s National Composites Centre, which is also based in Bristol and is driving forward innovative and widespread use of the latest composite materials.
The apprentices will focus on mechanical engineering across aerostructures and aeroengines, as well as learning an array of transferable skills, and will have the opportunity to gain a foundation degree in mechanical engineering.
The importance of apprenticeships to the UK economy was recently reinforced by the Government-sponsored Richard review of apprenticeships. The review highlighted the key role that the Government, employers, teachers and families all have in informing and guiding young people so that they have a better understanding of what a high quality apprenticeship can offer.
The Atkins higher apprenticeship scheme has been set up in conjunction with City of Bristol College and Plymouth University.
Find out more about Atkins' new aerospace apprenticeship scheme:
Our research into 'new' entry routes
In 2011 we completed a large research project about how professional bodies percieve and interact with apprenticeship schemes as well as HE and FE qualifications.
The findings are published in our book Becoming A Professional: New Ways of Entering the Professions(RRP £40/£80).
This book pulls together our specialist knowledge on entry to the professions, focusing particularly on these ‘new’ ways of qualifying.
In addition, the appendix includes detailed case studies on the following five leading professional bodies and one Sector Skills Council (SSC) who have introduced 'new' entry routes:
Training to help you manage entry standards
If your professional body is considering reviewing its entry standards and professional qualifications, we have a new Training Course on Managing Entry Standards to support those tasked with the strategic consideration of recruitment and training of professionals into the future.
This course provides an overview on how professional bodies are maintaining quality while opening access to professional careers, this course will look at the strategic thinking behind how professional bodies engage with qualifications, and what employers want from professional qualifications.
Book onto this course - taking place on 23 May 2013: