EEF National Apprenticeship Week 2018 - Essential Facts and Figures

Published 5th March 2018

National Apprenticeship Week takes place this week (5th – 9th March) with a focus on how apprenticeships work for employers, individuals, the community and the economy. On top of this, it’s also the Year of Engineering.  EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, has provided 10 key facts about manufacturing and engineering apprenticeships and why they are so important for the sector.

  1. 72% of manufacturers say raising awareness of apprenticeships will get more young people into engineering[1]
  2. 79% of manufacturers were committed to recruiting engineering apprentices in 2016 - 45% were committed to recruiting apprentices in other parts of the business[2]
  3. In 2016/17 there were 74,010 manufacturing and engineering apprenticeship starts, representing 15% of all apprenticeship starts for the year[3]
  4. Only 7% of students at state-funded mainstream schools and colleges went on to an apprenticeship after key stage 5 compared to 51% that went on to a UK higher education institution[4]
  5. Just 7% of engineering apprenticeships achieved last year were undertaken by women [5]
  6. Three-quarters of manufacturers say all their apprentices stay with the company upon completion of their apprenticeship[6]
  7. The average hourly pay rate for engineering apprentices is currently £6.44, almost double the minimum rate (7)
  8. 67% of mums would recommend a career in engineering to their children compared to 85% of dads (8)
  9. 26% of manufacturers want more information on finding and recruiting apprentices to help them with the Apprenticeship Levy (9)
  10. A third (33%) of manufacturers currently support employees to undertake higher apprenticeships and a quarter (24%) currently don’t but would like to (10)


Verity Davidge, Head of Education and Skills Policy at EEF, says:  “Manufacturers have always been great champions of apprenticeships, with many seeing apprentices as the lifeblood of their businesses. Manufacturers have offered high quality apprenticeships to young people for decades – offering them quality training and often lifetime careers within that same company. We must continue to shout from the rooftops about the benefits that apprenticeships can bring to the learner, the employer and the wider economy and what better apprenticeship to undertake than in manufacturing and engineering.

“Whilst the focus of this week must remain on celebrating the brilliant apprentices in our industry, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room – the Apprenticeship Levy. The introduction of the Levy has presented fundamental challenges for many employers. If we are to keep up the momentum of apprenticeships, government must make changes to the Levy and ensure employers are able to keep offering these invaluable forms of training.”



  1. EEF Higher Education Survey (2014)
  2. EEF, An Up-skill Battle (2016)
  3. EEF, Lifting the lid on the Levy (2017)
  4. DFE, Key Stage 5 Destination Measures (2018)
  5. WISE, (Accessed on 01032018)
  6. EEF, Skills Survey (2012)
  7. DFE/BEIS, Apprentice Pay Survey (2016)
  8. Engineering UK, Engineering Report at a glance (Accessed 01/03/2018)
  9. EEF, Lifting the lid on the Levy (2017)
  10. EEF, Higher Education Survey (2014)
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