Apprentices key to rebuilding Britain


Nine out of ten employers see apprentices as key to the future success of their business over the next two years, according to a new report released by City & Guilds.

Over half of those companies who already recruit apprentices believe that they offer greater value than hiring university graduates. However over a quarter of all employers want the apprentice recruitment process to become simpler and less time consuming.

The report, ‘Building Business Through Apprenticeships’ is based on the responses of over 500 employers surveyed across the UK. Two-thirds of employers (66%) believe Apprenticeships are vital to ensure that the UK can compete in the changing global economy but despite this, currently there are only eleven Apprenticeship places for every 1000 employees in the UK.

The report findings reveal that eight out of ten employers have experienced barriers to hiring apprentices; a quarter argue the process is too bureaucratic; over a quarter don’t feel there are relevant apprentice schemes for their business and a fifth feel the current economic climate makes it too risky to commit to an Apprenticeship programme.

Chris Jones, CEO and Director General, City & Guilds said: “Many businesses, large or small, know that Apprenticeships can transform their organisation, but unless the barriers preventing more employers, particularly SMEs, from hiring an apprentice are addressed, there will continue to be a gap between supply and demand. There will also be over 210,000 people who won’t get a place at University this summer.”

As the education system undergoes its biggest shake up in years, the Government, recognising that Apprenticeships are key to the success of the future UK economy, have increased their funding and support – led by the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) – to enable an additional 75,000 new Apprenticeships starts per year, from now until September 2013.

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