‘First of its kind’ apprenticeship aims to help future-proof engineering and manufacturing sectors

SCOTLAND’S major engineering and manufacturing sector has developed a new apprenticeship providing skills in emerging technologies, designed to provide the attributes necessary to prosper in a digital environment.

The Apprenticeship in Engineering and Digital Manufacturing is described as the ‘first of its kind’ to incorporate training in Artificial Intelligence, 3D modelling and data science.

Employers including Mitsubishi, Baker Hughes, Leonardo, Aggreko and Volvo were involved in the development of the apprenticeship, which was co-ordinated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and supported by sector skills body Enginuity, Unite the Union and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).

Its creation comes in response to calls from University of Strathclyde-operated NMIS and employers, who need both new and existing staff to be trained in emerging technologies.

SDS sector manager for climate and high value manufacturing, Billy Scott, said, “Scotland’s engineering and advanced manufacturing sector has been identified as key for securing a strong economy. It’s crucial to safeguard and support the current wealth of existing and new talent in the sector by giving them the skills to ensure businesses can continue to innovate and compete on a global scale now and in the future.

“This apprenticeship has been designed for an emerging role that needs skills for using the latest technology and has sustainability at its core as manufacturers develop a net zero roadmap.”

The apprenticeship has been designed to be flexible and enables individuals employed in the engineering and manufacturing sectors to build on their existing experience, provides up-skilling and career progression opportunities for those who have previously completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering (SCQF Level 6), and also provides skills for entry level and school leavers.

SDS and NMIS will work to explore how the capabilities identified in the apprenticeship can be used by employers for wider workforce development.

SDS will also identify learning providers across the country who will implement the training of the SCQF Level 8 qualification alongside the in-work experience apprentices will receive from employers.

NMIS, in partnership with SDS, is hosting a free webinar about the apprenticeship for employers, apprentices and learning providers on Tuesday, 31 May.

Stewart McKinlay, skills director, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, commented, “The skills landscape is changing at a rate never before experienced, in particular in relation to digital technology advances and the need to move towards net zero. If the manufacturing sector in Scotland is to realise its full potential, we need to have the right people in with the right skills at the right time.”

To register for the one hour NMIS webinar at 11am on Tuesday, 31 May visit the Eventbrite page.