From education to employment

First 100 apprentices start training to become senior economists

A new senior professional economist apprenticeship has launched to learners during lockdown.

The first batch of around 100 apprentices started this month (February).

They will be trained to carry out high-level economic analysis and support with business decision making. Economists are currently working on COVID-19 economic recovery planning and measures to counter climate change.

The apprenticeship lasts for two years and as well as amazing on-the-job training, apprentices will also finish with a Masters’ degree qualification.

The trailblazer group of public and private sector employers who designed the training requirements, with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, are excited at the prospect of forging a new pathway into this important profession.

The chair of the group is Neil Golborne, head of business frameworks analysis for the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS).

He said: “The early success of the Government Economic Service programme, with over 100 starts, shows that there is employer demand for an apprenticeship standard that will equip apprentices with higher, applied, economic skills and provide them with a pathway to senior leadership positions.

“Apprentices can expect high quality training from a well-regarded university which employers will support with on the job learning.

“We look forward to it encouraging a wider change in how economists are trained with greater emphasis on applied skills, including through a move towards more project and team working.”


Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, said: “We are really pleased to add economist to the growing list of professions that are open to apprentice.

“There should be no limit on ambition. The economic recovery from Covid-19 will rely on spreading new opportunities all across the country and this is a great example of that happening.”

Michele Granatstein, partner at high-profile economics and finance consultancy firm Oxera, who also helped design the apprenticeship, said:

“Economists work on the most important social, environmental and economic issues that we face. Ensuring we have the best, most diverse thinking around the table has never been so important.”

Other prominent members of the trailblazer group include the Bank of England, Compass Lexecon, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

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