Break-out A - Edge Foundation

Edge Research Conference
14th November 2014
STEM related Apprenticeship
Provision in England: The
views of employers and other
Colin McCaig
CEIR, Sheffield Hallam University
Edge Research Conference
14 November 2014
Birmingham NEC
Outline of presentation
Supply and demand picture
The qualitative study
Employer recruitment of apprentices
The role of apprentices in the organisation
Factors inhibiting demand
Models to stimulate employer demand
Supply and demand for STEM
• High value-added sectors of the economy have a
relatively high demand for STEM skills (e.g. advanced
manufacturing, construction, finance, health, etc.)
• Even if employment in an industry is contracting, the
level of replacement demands are often relatively high
• Employers have degree of choice about how they obtain
STEM skills (e.g. Apprenticeship versus graduate
• What is known about employer demand for STEM
Apprenticeships? And what do we know about supply?
Highest qualification of these working
in STEM occupations
The supply of STEM Apprenticeships
Whether have Apprentices (% of employers)
Telecoms, IT and R&D
All non-STEM
The study - qualitative
• We carried out a total of 79 interviews during the
May-June period
• Some of the interviews were as part of 15 case
studies - Some were telephone interviews Carried out a short email survey of GTAs
• Also interviewed 14 'stakeholders' as part of
interim report so - 93 people in all contributed to
this study
• Key questions: how can supply be stimulated?
• what are the barriers?
Employer recruitment of
• Employers were looking for suitably qualified young people (5
GCSEs or more) with an interest in the industry / occupation
they were entering
• In general, employers had little difficulty recruiting their STEM
apprentices (especially so amongst larger organisations)
• Smaller employers – or those in non-traditional STEM
industries – tended to experience more difficulty because
larger organisations tended to have first pick of suitably
qualified apprentices
• Some employers in engineering had concerns over the
mathematics skills of apprentices – they wanted their recruits
ideally to be more mathematically prepared
The role of the apprentice in the
• In general, graduate and apprentices roles were distinct
in organisations
– Graduates were there to fill professional / managerial roles
– Apprentices to fill manual / first line management roles
• Making the jump from apprenticeship into management
was possible but not expected
• Level 4 Apprenticeships may be used to equip
apprentices to fill technician level roles rather than
professional ones
• In traditional STEM sectors, the separate roles of
apprentices and graduates had developed over time
Factors inhibiting demand
• For large companies in traditional STEM sectors, there were no
factors inhibiting demand other than the overall level of demand for
good and services
• For smaller companies, with little experience of recruiting
apprentices a number of factors constrained demand:
– Uncertainty about future levels of business demand, especially
where contracts were of short duration
– A degree of uncertainty over what the apprentice may bring to
the business and whether they would stay
– Concerns about the potential cost versus the benefits
• The above views were derived from employers which had recruited
apprentices but were still uncertain about how Apprenticeships
would work out in practice - employers without Apprenticeships
mirrored these concerns
Stimulating demand
• How to reduce uncertainty:
• Group training
– Evidence that this removed much of the risk from those
employers which were uncertain about the fit between
Apprenticeships and their businesses
• But this potentially passes on the risk to other bodies
• Using existing capacity to develop Apprenticeships
– Several large employers/consortia of employers had their own
large-scale training centres
– Evidence that some other local employers were using these
facilities to train their apprentices
• So there is the potential to use any excess training capacity
in larger firms to train STEM apprentices
• If supply is meeting demand it is finely balanced
• Employers have the supply to meet expected output
demand because the cost of training in excess of
demand is too expensive
• But should there be a sudden increase in demand,
then shortages may well occur
• Employers pointed to national infrastructure projects
often attracting many skilled employees and high
quality apprentices thereby depleting their supply
• But employers are risk averse because of the relatively high
cost of training young people in STEM subjects
• So the key question is how to mitigate that risk
Edge Research Conference
14th November 2014
Creating an Inclusive
Apprenticeship Offer
14 November 2014
Caroline Berry
Head of Learning for Work and Head of Research
Charlotte Robey
Introduction and background
• Aim of the project
• Policy context:
– Involving employers in shaping skills provision and delivery
– Focus on Apprenticeships: new approaches and increasing
– Issues with access and quality
– Fall in proportion of apprentices with a learning difficulty and/or
Research methodology
Literature review
Online survey
Telephone interviews
Case study visits
Employers involved were small, medium and large businesses
and covered a range of sectors
35% of survey respondents had hired a disabled apprentice
Advertised vacancies in a range of places
Worked with partner organisations
Reasonable adjustments at interview and initial assessment
On the job support
Support to progress
Barriers to recruiting disabled apprentices
Support to overcome barriers
Case studies
Alan Cooper Cabinetmaker
Barclays Bank PLC
Enable Housing Association
Leicester City Council
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital Trust
tpm and the Dyslexia Foundation
Further information and contact details
[email protected]
[email protected]
Edge Research Conference
14th November 2014
Providing work
experience: how do we
achieve high-quality
David Sims and Sarah Lynch
Edge Research Conference 2014
Work experience trials
• 25 pilot FE colleges testing models of work
experience delivery:
 Removing cost barriers for employers
 Investigating challenges faced by SMEs
 Extra resources for colleges
 Exploring timing of placements
 Supporting LLDD
• Funding from DfE of £177k over two years
Evaluation aims and methods:
To evaluate the different models of work experience for
post-16 students, exploring the implementation process,
impact on students and employers, and identifying
lessons learned – what works/implications for providing
successful, quality work experience?
- Initial scoping study
- Ten case studies
- Analysis of Management Information and financial
Nature and location of work
Models: combination of models, most often resources to
employ a coordinator or support for LLDD
Preparation: : CVs, interview skills, matching students and
employers, preparing students for the real world
Location: all case-study colleges offered external placements
with employers, most also offered internal placements at the
Type of work experience: predominately ‘vocational’, but
examples of ‘extended’ placements/Supported Internship model
for LLDD students; real-world and purposeful
Flexible timing: Mix of blocks and separate days across
Employer engagement
• Trial helped to increase and enhance employer
• Role of coordinator crucial in developing and maintaining
relationships with employers
• Having a broad range of employers, in terms of size and
scope, was seen as important, in order to provide a
variety of placements
• Employers see it as corporate social responsibility – to
link with community and develop future workforce
• Incentives for employers not used/needed
• Obstacles: some sectors; misunderstandings about
insurance liabilities; health and safety
Impact of the trial
• On students:
 Development of skills/behaviours necessary to make them ‘work
ready’ (team work, communication, confidence, attendance)
 Positive impact on LLDD: confidence, independence, behaviour
 Some students gained employment
• On colleges:
 Changed ethos e.g. centralised/holistic approach to work
experience; increased relationships with employers; increased
provision/numbers benefiting
• On employers:
 Developing future workforce; extra capacity; CPD of own staff;
meeting corporate social responsibilities
Success factors: steps to take in
providing quality work experience
1. Appointment of coordinator
2. Be flexible with timing of
work experience
3. Match students and
employers carefully
4. Prior preparation of student
5. Prior preparation of
employer (inc. setting aims)
6. Ensure support is in place
for student, inc. LLDD
7. Monitoring and reflection
8. Feedback to employers
For further information:
The NFER website:
The evaluation report:
David Sims [email protected]
Sarah Lynch [email protected]
Edge Research Conference
14th November 2014

similar documents