The Minister for Skills, Alex Burghart MP, has announced the launch of a new partnership between industry and Government to grow the number of high-quality apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector.

Mr Burghart said: “The group has my full support in its vital agenda to grow the number of high-quality apprenticeships, the opportunities for young people, the number of manufacturing SMEs offering apprenticeships, and apprenticeships in new and Net Zero sectors.”

Chaired by Anita Davenport-Brooks of the Lander Group, Apprenticeships in Manufacturing (‘AiM’) has nine member organisations representing employers across the manufacturing sector: Cogent Skills, Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA), Enginuity, Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Furniture Interiors Education Skills & Training Alliance (FIESTA), Make UK, National Skills Academy for Food and Drink (NSAFD), UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) and the UK Metals Council (UKMC).

Ms Davenport-Brooks said: “I believe that apprenticeships bring a valuable return on investment, not only financially but in every area of any business and I am passionate about the benefits they bring for individuals too. I have seen apprentices with differing abilities grow, develop and obtain substantive roles and there is common agreement that apprenticeships develop sustainable talent. I want to see AiM achieving on its objectives and growing more of this wonderful skilled talent for our sector.”

COVID has created unprecedented challenges for the manufacturing sector, not least on employers’ plans for hiring apprentices and training the existing workforce. The Department for Education has started to build new partnerships between industry and Government with the aim of challenging and addressing these barriers. AiM will strengthen this partnership through committed, skills-focused organisations working collaboratively.

Bhavina Bharkhada, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Make UK, added that apprenticeships and apprentices are “the lifeblood” of UK manufacturing, innovating, creating and making our future a reality.

“Through collaboration and coordination, the AiM will be the collective voice for promoting manufacturing engineering apprentices amongst SMEs, boosting apprentices across the country in our sector, and leading the way in developing apprenticeships ready for our digital and green future.”

Employers considering starting or expanding apprenticeships for their business can find out more at