Why are growing numbers of businesses turning to apprenticeships?
This week marks National Apprenticeship week. Latest figures show that more businesses than ever are now offering apprenticeships but what is behind this growing trend?
Apprenticeships are recognised as a great way of improving the skills within your organisation whilst at the same time offering young people opportunities outside of the classroom. It has been widely documented that we face national skills shortages in certain sectors – the construction industry being a prime example – and apprenticeships are helping them to generate renewed interest and new career opportunities.
They can also provide older and more experienced members of your team the chance to pass on their knowledge and skills to a new generation. Apprenticeships can help to create greater business continuity and ensure that the craftsmanship and tools of the past are not lost forever.
The financial benefits to employers, and more broadly, the national economy are also impossible to ignore. According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, an estimated 3.8 million people will complete an apprenticeship over the next ten years. Between them, they will contribute an estimated £3.4bn to the UK economy per year in productivity gains by 2022.
But, not everyone is a fan and apprenticeships are sometimes given a bad name. Low pay and limited information for students considering their post-school options means that there are still many misconceptions about these schemes. In response, the government has set about offering increased guidance and clarity to employers looking to set up apprenticeships. Schools and colleges too are being actively encouraged to promote apprenticeships as a viable alternative to university.
While there is clearly still some work to do to increase positive awareness of apprenticeships, for many employers they present an effective solution to the UK’s skills shortage whilst at the same time enabling them to grow their organisation and build for the future.
Apprenticeships can be good for individuals, good for business and good for our economy. So, is it time that you thought about taking on an apprentice?