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Revealing research about Apprenticeships

Almost half (44%) of businesses in the UK plan to take on apprentices in the next five years, according to research conducted by polling service ICM on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service.

The research published to mark National Apprenticeship Week found that the figure has risen from 36% this time last year when employers were asked the same question.

The study of 600 businesses also reveals that a fifth (20%) of SMEs plan to take one or more apprentices in the next 12 months alone, with more than a third (37%) of larger businesses planning to do the same, compared to 15% and 28% respectively in February 2013.

Around a third (32%) of those that plan to take on apprentices say this is because they are a core part of their growth strategy.

Ahead of a visit to BT, which recently announced it would take on 730 more apprentices over the next year, secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, says: “Apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for most businesses large or small – and the huge increase, which this government has overseen is one of my proudest achievements.

“Given the grants available to help small businesses take on apprentices, it’s especially good that so many SMEs are embracing apprenticeships in the coming years and that apprentice recruitment now forms a key part of a business’s plans for sustainable growth.”

The study shows that apprenticeships are growing in popularity, with 43% of employers agreeing they would be more likely to offer an apprenticeship than they were two years ago. Of these nearly two in five (38%) said this was because the talent pool had widened as apprenticeships become more popular, 33% because it had become easier to employ apprentices and 32% because they have more job roles in their business that would suit an apprentice. Overall, 41% of employers agreed that apprentices stay in the business longer than other recruits.


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