Science Industry Partnership

06 Sep 2018

SIP Apprenticeship Survey reveals science industry companies are not recovering apprenticeship levy

The extensive Apprenticeship Survey, carried out by the Science Industry Partnership (SIP), is now complete and the findings being analysed, with some important preliminary findings being made available.

The SIP’s survey provides the first ever opportunity to analyse information on apprenticeships across the Science Industries, strategic sectors of the UK economy.

Ninety-two companies have responded providing a robust and representative set of data, covering a workforce of 120,000 and 20% of the science industry sector.

Some of the early findings tell us:

  • Majority of employers’ levy contribution remains unrecovered: only 13% of the levy raised by the respondents, has been recovered for training apprentices
  • Current range of apprenticeship standards do not meet all occupational needs: 56% would like to see a wider range of apprenticeship standards being developed
  • Apprenticeships are increasingly being using to upskill the workforce: 40% of respondents have started using apprenticeships to upskill/retrain the existing workforce

These findings, along with others around the nature and level of apprenticeships, the impact of the levy on upskilling and employer views on factors which would increase their uptake, and hence their use of the levy, will provide important evidence to influence action needed to encourage more apprenticeships.  This will in turn lead to a series of SIP recommendations for life science and chemicals sector deals.

It is estimated the science industries will need to fill 250,000 scientific and technical jobs by 2025, many of underpinned by the adoption of ‘key enabling technologies’, including informatics and big data, synthetic biology and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and materials science and the SIP is committed to driving up apprenticeships to close this skills gap.

The SIP’s recommendations will be set out in a comprehensive report, to be published on 22 October 2019.

A series of survey launches will follow publication:

  • SIP Cambridge, 30th November, 2018, hosted by MedImmune
  • SIP North East, 7th November, hosted by Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.
  • SIP North West – Spring 2019 , date tbc

To express an interest in attending any of these events please contact