Apprentices: STEM Subjects

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th April 2022.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to increase the number of apprenticeships in STEM professions.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government recognises the demand for science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills is increasing. Ensuring that anyone, regardless of their background, can pursue a career in a STEM occupation is a key priority for this government.

Apprenticeships are a great way for people to receive high-quality training and begin, or progress in, a successful STEM career. We have put employers at the heart of our apprenticeship system, empowering them to design the standards they need with the help of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. There are over 340 employer-designed apprenticeship standards in STEM, including Cyber Security Technician at Level 3, and Civil Engineer (degree) at level 6.

It is encouraging to see that in the 2020/21 academic year, there were 78,100 apprenticeship starts in STEM, making up 24% of all apprenticeship starts that year.

We are continuing to promote apprenticeships in schools through the Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge programme and are working with our Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network of influential employers such as Siemens, Bombardier, and Rolls-Royce to promote best practices in recruiting and retaining people from all backgrounds in STEM apprenticeships.

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