What is Stopping Employers from Taking on More Apprentices?

The government is greatly focusing towards increasing both the quantity and the quality of apprenticeships available in the UK via The Apprenticeship Levy. The government is significantly committed, with the set aim of reaching three million starts by 2020. Though the task may seem reachable at first glance, it is actually fairly difficult to attain, considering that there are multiple obstacles to tackle in order to move forward and achieve this figure, including promoting the benefits of hiring apprenticeships for employers.

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As per research conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), more than 40% of people in the age group of 50 or over lack digital skills, which are more often than not essential for being successful in interviews. These digital skills, plus others, could be effectively introduced during a carefully planned advanced apprenticeships program; this is just one way apprenticeships could benefit the population.

As for the younger generation in the UK, just one period of extended unemployment early on in a career is a threatening prospect, which could be avoided if more apprenticeships are offered. However, according to research, as it is, the employment circumstances often result in an average earning deficit of 8-10% by the age of 42.

The government is keen on helping younger generations find their feet in employment; in fact, it is understood that there is an immediate need for attention to be directed towards aiding the futures of young people. If the situation is simply left as it is, the repercussions are likely to be felt for many years to come; not only for the next generation but also for the economy of the country as a whole.

If the government is determined to tackle youth employability, skills shortages and a lack of relevant workplace skills in older workers, then preconceptions, as well as misconceptions in employers, need to change and apprenticeships are the perfect way to introduce younger people into workplaces.

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So, why are employers not taking on more apprentices?

In terms of why employers do not tend to hire apprentices, in a survey there were many different reasons reported. It was found that one in four employers had never even thought of the prospect of hiring an apprentice, whilst a further 27% claimed that the qualification is not suitable for the needs of their business.

One of the other factors which present as a concern for 18% of employers is that hiring an apprentice may take up too much time from the company’s management team. However, many businesses may not be aware that much of the burden of time taken up with training is alleviated, as the apprentice will also undertake training away from the premise at educational institutions.

Another reason employers are reluctant to take on apprentices is that they do not want to commit to such a long-term contract. 11% of employers have stated that they would consider offering an apprenticeship to be an extremely long-term commitment in the current market.

Apprenticeships are no doubt a representation of a real commitment to an employee’s future. They are highly focused on building up an individual’s skillset, allowing an individual to develop their personal commitment to growth within an industry and move up the career ladder.

However, despite the general negative opinion employers have towards making a long-term commitment, extremely positive results have been established in productivity and retention of staff in comparison to peers who were attracted into the business through other routes, meaning that those companies do not have to spend money on constant recruiting and training when staff leave.

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For more information and advice on applying for apprenticeships, contact us. Our professionals will be able to give you the guidance you need to get started.

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June 20, 2017

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