According to new figures, apprenticeship starts in engineering and advanced manufacturing in England have increased by more than 85% since 2010.

The latest figures released by Stema, the sector skills council for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing, show that every area of England has seen a significant rise in apprentices in the past two years. The West Midlands lead the way with a 227% rise followed by the East Midlands with 174%.

Statistics show that most of the new starts have been at intermediate level (142%), with a smaller rise (23%) in the number of advanced- and higher-level apprentices.

A total of 31,070 new apprentices entered the sector in 2011–12, compared with 22,300 in 2010–11, and 16,760 in 2009–10.

Semta, through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Employer Investment Fund, has spent the past 12 months targeting employers that have never recruited an apprentice.

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