Despite evidence from the Centre for Economics and Business Research finding that apprenticeship schemes are set to contribute around GBP 3.4 billion annually to the economy over the next ten years, another survey has revealed that a number of employers are still hesitant to introduce the schemes.
A survey of SMEs across the UK by Close Brothers Asset Finance revealed that some bosses are stil hesitant to award apprenticeship schemes. Many are put off of hiring apprentices due to concerns over costs and lack of time available to train up new intakes, while some were more put off by the scarcity of suitable candidates.
Mike Randall, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance said: “There are understandable reasons why some businesses are hesitant to invest their time and money into training an apprentice, as the benefits of apprenticeship schemes are not widely documented. However, there is some evidence to suggest that they are worth the investment.”
He went on to say: “Apprenticeships can reduce the time and expense of recruiting, while positively contributing to the overall performance of a business by offering an increase in competitiveness, a broadened talent pool and improved productivity.”
Many employers find it difficult to recruit staff that have the required skills, but apprenticeships can help address this issue by closing the gap between the skills possessed by the apprentice and the skills required by the firm.
Mr Randall added: “Often apprentices are motivated to produce a higher standard of work to meet their assessment targets, and feel a loyalty to the company that hired them because a clear career path is often outlined from the offset. Staff retention rates are usually improved as a result.”