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Apprenticeship Advice

On 4 April 2017, the EEF hosted a webinar for MTA members, aimed at ensuring employer readiness for the Apprenticeship Levy that came into effect on 6 April 2017.  Companies both below and above the £3million paybill threshold for the Levy are eligible for Government funding for apprenticeship training.  The MTA encourages its members to employ apprentices to continue to bring new talent into the industry, therefore helping to address the current skills gap the industry faces.  You can view the webinar here.

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is working with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to highlight the business benefits of apprenticeships and to explain to employers how to take on an apprentice.

The MTA has been collaborating with NAS since autumn 2016, to focus on apprenticeships and to understand in more depth the significant reforms to apprenticeships, coming into force from this spring.

This is the first article in which we are working with NAS to bring you up to date on apprenticeships, the benefits reported, and the opportunities for you to consider when recruiting an apprentice.

What benefits can an apprentice bring?

Apprentices can be placed in many job roles across your business, from front of house, through all departments - including accounts, planning, product design, assembly and maintenance - and finally to where your clients' goods depart – in transportation and logistics departments. In fact, apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles and a whole range of industries, from construction to manufacturing through to IT and the creative and digital sectors.

Apprenticeships are considered integral to business growth as high quality apprenticeships support employer recruitment and staff retention. Apprenticeships develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce, whilst improving productivity and reducing costs. A total of 2.4 million apprenticeships were started in England during the last parliament with government investment of £1,559,771 billion in the 2014/15 academic year. The number of apprentices employed in engineering and manufacturing technologies has increased from 38,280 in 2004 to 64,830 in 2014 (source: Engineering UK Report 2016).

There are approximately 1.3 million people employed in the advanced manufacturing industries in the UK. Advanced manufacturing is often reported as an area of significant potential growth for the UK economy. A high proportion (44%) of the advanced manufacturing workforce holds high-level qualifications (qualifications at level 4 and above).

Research published in June 2015 demonstrates the high level of return on investment delivered by the apprenticeship programme, indicating that adult apprenticeships at level 2 and level 3 deliver £26 and £28 of economic benefits respectively for each pound of government investment.

The apprenticeship route offers the ideal opportunity for ambitious young people to get ahead while earning a wage and for employers to recruit the brightest and the best. Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are widening access to the professions and providing the high level technical skills that employers need to improve productivity and these high quality apprenticeships are giving young people a career route equally as valid as going to university.

So what does this all mean for your business?

NAS can support you individually as an MTA Member through its free phone advisory service, operated by the Apprenticeship Business Support Team within NAS, which is available seven days a week.

This service will help you with any basic questions you may have, right through to helping you identify which job roles in your business could be filled by an apprentice. The service will also help you identify the training providers that can deliver the apprenticeship. If you decide to proceed and recruit an apprentice, the training provider will manage the complete training programme for you and also identify any financial incentives you may be eligible for.

The National Apprenticeship Service supports the delivery of apprenticeships in England. This includes simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice through the support of employer focused teams and Find an apprenticeship on GOV.UK where employers can advertise their vacancies and potential apprentices can apply. Call 08000 150 600 or search for apprenticeships on to find out more.

The lead contact within the MTA is Laura Pickering, Education & Development Coordinator. You can contact her on 020 7298 6401 or by emailing

The MTA also offers Apprenticeship Grants of £2,000 and a limited number of interest-free Apprenticeship Loans to help support you with the cost of taking on a new apprentice.  For more information please visit or email for more information and an application form.  Terms and conditions apply.

Your feedback

The MTA is really keen to see how valuable this service is for you, our Members, so NAS has agreed to monitor how many MTA Members use it.

When you call, please begin by telling them you are a member of the MTA, as this will enable them to tag your call.

Call 08000 150 600

You then can choose from the following two options:

  • Option 1 - Speak with an adviser regarding anything related to apprenticeships for your business.
  • Option 5 - Choose this option for information on the apprenticeship LEVY if you have a payroll of more than £3 million per annum.