According to new government research; small UK business owners are predicted to hire over 200,000 new apprentices over the next 12 months.
The new statistics have been released as part of an initiative designed to get more young people into small businesses by emphasising the benefits to employers.
Three in four employers currently taking on apprentices believe that the apprentices had improved overall productivity within the workplace reporting at least one benefit to the business.
Despite the expectation that small companies would be at the forefront of an increase in apprenticeships, the study also found that three-quarters of all owners remained unconvinced about the benefits.
Speaking on the announcement of the campaign, government apprenticeships and skills minister Robert Halfon commented that apprenticeships offered long-term benefits to both employers and young people, with nine in ten staying on at a company after the apprenticeship had ended.
“It’s fantastic to see so many [small business owners] are already taking advantage of the programme ensuring they get the workforce they require, but we must do more to encourage other SMEs to come on board and hire apprentices,” he said in a statement.
The Federation of Small Businesses have also voiced their support of the campaign, as national chairman Mike Cherry confirmed the “good business sense” of hiring new apprentices.
“Apprentices can be a real asset for many smaller businesses and are vital to the future of the UK economy,” Cherry added.
In an article for Business Advice, Graeme Donnelly, founder of company formation agent Quality Formations, commented that many small business owners still consider their existing workforce as more proficient than apprentices and hiring an untrained employee could be a potential drain on time and resources.
However, they could be overseeing the value that new apprentices can bring to their company.
“By employing somebody who is yet to be trained, you can ensure they are educated to your standards and have the right learning opportunities, giving them the right tools to do an effective job.
“Through offering an apprenticeship, you and your company can find yourself with a passionate and professional fresh pair of hands to give you much needed help when starting your company. They offer an unbiased avenue of thought, as well as delivering an untapped level of enthusiasm to assist your startup in finding its feet.”
National Apprentice Week will take place between 6 and 10 March 2017 in England, and the government is holding events to bring employers and candidates together.
Robert Bond FIRP
Rob has a background in Sales and IT recruitment with over 25 years of experience in these sectors. He heads up the IT and Accountancy Divisions of Bond Williams and is also responsible for Bond Williams internal Operations and Finance. Alongside Claire, he is responsible for the overall growth and …