Apprentice scheme launch to cover sector’s skills gap

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ELECTRONICS Yorkshire has launched an apprenticeship scheme in electronics to meet what it describes as “a significant skills gap in the sector”.

The Leeds-based training provider for the electronics manufacturing sector said that it plans to recruit 30 apprentices in the first cohort.

Roger Gibbeson, general manager of Electronics Yorkshire, said: “This is a dedicated electronics apprenticeship for the industry. It fulfills a need for the many businesses I have talked to who complain how difficult it is to find well-trained and qualified employees.”

The electronics manufacturing sector encompasses industries from defence to health, utilities, digital communications and the automotive industry.

Electronics Yorkshire is launching the specialised electronics curriculum at intermediate level (NVQ level two) and plans to introduce a higher level qualification subsequently. The apprenticeship attracts full Government funding for 16 to 18-year-olds and will run for 24 months.

Electronics Yorkshire said it will cater for young people leaving school who will train while working and earning a wage. The programme takes the form of work-based assignments plus day release for classroom-based training either at Electronics Yorkshire’s Leeds centre or at regional venues.

Electronics Yorkshire will also be including industry standard IPC training modules as part of the syllabus. It said that this will give apprentices “the advantage of an internationally-recognised qualification in electronics, providing added value and greater employability”.

Mr Gibbeson added: “This apprenticeship is something employers have been waiting for, and we are already seeing significant interest. We are taking expressions of interest now via our website. We will be looking for the best candidates, and we are in talks with schools to brief them about this excellent opportunity for their pupils.”

Electronics Yorkshire, which employs 10 staff and has a turnover of more than £500,000, is a training, technology and resource centre focused on supporting the electronics industry across the UK. The centre, together with much of its high-tech equipment, is available to be used for analysis and testing, as well as for staff training away from the workplace.

Electronics Yorkshire is holding two drop-in sessions to give information about the apprenticeships in Leeds and Sheffield.

The first is on May 29 from 10am-3pm at the Careers Centre, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane. The second is on the following day from 10am-3pm at Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard Street.