Education and Skills Funding Agency
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Small and medium sized enterprises to push up apprenticeship numbers

As National Apprenticeship Week continues, small businesses and large organisations are increasingly supporting apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are growing in popularity amongst employers and young people. According to new research conducted by ICM, small businesses are planning to create thousands of new apprenticeships in the next year. Apprenticeships are great for businesses, personal careers and create opportunities for both employers and apprentices.

The study of 600 British businesses reveals that 1 in 5 (20%) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) plan to take on 1 or more apprentices in the next 12 months. This goes up to 39% over the next 5 years. Of those SMEs who are planning to take on apprentices, 26 per cent plan to take on 3 or more.

Over a quarter (29%) of the SMEs planning to take on apprentices say this is because they are a core part of their growth strategy, while 21% say they are essential to the future of their business.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said: “This government wants to see 2 million apprenticeships created over the course of this Parliament and so it’s fantastic to see employers are right behind us. Apprentices help make Britain’s businesses great – offering small and large firms alike a chance to grow and train their workforce to suit their business needs.

“It’s especially welcome that so many SMEs intend to embrace apprenticeships in the coming years. But we would like to see even more SMEs benefit from apprentices.

“The desire of young people to work with our fledging and small businesses is encouraging, and indicates that those who intend to recruit apprentices in the next 5 years should have no trouble filling the vacancies. More than half a million new companies were started last year, all of whom have a chance to grow their businesses by offering an apprenticeship, or traineeship.”

Jason Holt, Small Business Apprenticeship Ambassador said: “Apprenticeships really deliver for small businesses, enabling them to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. And for the apprentices, an apprenticeship is a way for them to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.”

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