Firms reveal apprenticeship plans

Apprenticeships in general are growing in popularity, as 43% of employers and 35% of financial services firms said they are more likely to offer an apprenticeship than two years ago.

Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said: “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 businesses’ plans for sustainable growth.”

The study of 600 businesses revealed that 37% of larger businesses are planning to take apprentices in the next 12 months. BT for example recently said they would take on 730 more apprentices over the next year.

Nearly a third of companies taking on apprentices identified them as a core part of their growth strategy, while some business commented that the talent pool has had widened as apprenticeships become more popular.

Overall, 41% of employers agreed that apprentices stay in the business longer than other recruits.

National Apprenticeship Week, now in its seventh year, is designed to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.