UK Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) apprenticeships could unlock around £6bn in social value, a WSP partnered with the New Economics Foundation to apply the Social Return on Investment (SRoI) theory to its own apprenticeship scheme, evaluating the initiative’s output against cost.
It was discovered that for each pound invested into the apprenticeship scheme, stakeholders received a return of £2.26. Using this information, and basing it on the 114,400 people who began STEM apprenticeships last year, it was predicted that social value of more than £6bn would be unlocked.
Jane Grant, head of learning and development at WSP, said the findings was testament to the value of apprenticeship schemes in the UK – not just to businesses, but also to the wider economy.
“We launched our apprenticeship programme back in 2010 with only one apprentice and now are proud to employ more than 180 apprentices with a further 80 joining us in September,” she added.
WSP’s estimation was calculated before the apprenticeship levy was introduced. Yet, Grant believes the levy will have a positive effect, enabling WSP to provide a wider variety of apprenticeship schemes.
“The levy has allowed us to continue tackling the skills gap in engineering by diversifying our offering of apprenticeship programmes to have both school leaver and degree level apprenticeships.
“Only [27%] of 11 to 14-year-olds admit to knowing what engineers do, much less transport planners and environmental consultants, yet engineering and related field represent a quarter of the UK’s GDP.”
There’s no doubt that apprenticeships are a fundamental part of today’s education system, and it’s promising to see more young people take this career path. If you’re an educator working in FE and are looking for your next opportunity, FEJobs is paired with many of the best institutions across the UK. Find the right job by searching our site today.