As the Apprenticeship Levy comes into force for all employers turning over more than £3 million a year, apprehensions still exist over whether the scheme will be able to supply the “first-rate” training that both industry and apprentices need.

Julia Evans, chief executive, BSRIA, said: “The Apprenticeship Levy has gone ‘live’. BSRIA welcomes the government’s emphasis on increasing investment in apprenticeships and the industry is ready to stimulate more training and apprenticeships. However, quality is essential over quantity per se and BSRIA is keen to see long-term success for the scheme.

What is paramount is how important it is to close the industry skills gap. Apprenticeships provide the backbone for a career in engineering for many employees and no compromises should be made regarding them.

In essence: the levy must meet industry and apprenticeship needs.

BSRIA is leading by example and looking forward to welcoming apprentices; junior apprentices are to be placed in the engineering divisions and in the marketing department. BSRIA is also exploring the possibility of a higher apprenticeship which will ultimately result in a BA (Hons) award. It’s a great time for employers to be investing in their people.“