DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Humphries-Smith, Tania Maxine; White, Matthew; Hunt, Clive
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Bournemouth University, United Kingdom; 2: Bournemouth & Poole College
Section: Collaboration and Industrial involvement in Design Education
Page(s): 236-241
ISBN: 978-1-904670-84-1


This paper reports on a study that set out to understand the backgrounds of apprentices studying Engineering pathways at one Further Education (FE) College in the UK, where an integrated programme of qualifications from level 2 to level 7 exists. The research presented here follows on from a previous study that suggested diversity was very low across the programme. It also portrayed that progression opportunities to level 4 and above, that is, Higher Education, are not evenly distributed across the socio-economic groupings. The findings are representative in the light of relevant literature indicating concerns nationally and across sectors about Apprenticeship opportunities not being fairly distributed across socio-economic groupings. The report concludes that there is a relationship between those from lower socio-economic groups being more likely to engage with craft type qualifications. These qualifications do not offer progression possibilities to Higher Education, unlike those from higher socio-economic groups. ; This is because higher socio-economic groups are more likely to engage with technical qualifications. The report offers suggestions for further investigation related to careers advice, and, as a result of these findings, recommends some interventions that might increase the diversity of the engineering Apprentice population.

Keywords: Apprenticeships; Engineering; Diversity; Skills Shortages; Widening Participation


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