Bosses nationwide are being urged to open their minds and businesses to apprentices after recent national statistics have shown that employers are beginning to change their attitudes when it comes to hiring apprentices over graduates.
The survey, involving 1,000 businesses and commissioned by Skills Solutions, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s training provider, has shown that 73 per cent of bosses from across the UK are now seeing the value of real on-the-job training as a viable alternative to the traditional academic education received in lecture theatres.
Statistics from the survey showed that bosses in sectors such as business, marketing, financial services, construction, engineering and hairdressing, who have previously taken on apprentices, were impressed by the standard of candidates. Almost two thirds of those surveyed were pleasantly surprised at the quality and usefulness of the trainees entering their businesses.
Apprenticeships can be a foot in the door for people looking to train in a specific area but they can also provide candidates with career progression and longevity, with 69 per cent of bosses surveyed promoting their trainees to management positions.
Campaigns such as Skills Solutions’ ‘Yes to Apprenticeships’ offers employers a free recruitment service along with a large pool of suitable candidates to choose from, including those looking to avoid the rising costs of university fees by choosing a vocational training route.
Apprenticeships are suitable for all ages and employers don’t need to take on new candidates to reap the benefits as existing members of staff can also be placed on apprenticeship training, allowing employees to ‘up-skill’ in areas such as social media, team leadership and business.
For those looking to take on an apprentice, new wage incentives starting from £1,500 per candidate may be available to employers in the region and training is completely Government funded for 16-18 year olds, something that 76 per cent of bosses in the survey were completely unaware of.
Speaking about apprenticeships, Sarah Turner, business development manager for apprenticeship at Skills Solutions, said: “Our ‘Yes to Apprenticeships’ campaign is all about getting more employers to open their minds and businesses to the next generation of skilled workers.
“University fees are on the increase and many potential students and employers are now beginning to look into alternative training options. A university degree does not guarantee you a job, which unfortunately many graduates are now discovering. An apprenticeship however, offers qualifications, money while you train and a real career at the end of the process.
“Skills Solutions offers a complete support system for all employers, fully screening and interviewing potential candidates for roles, resulting in the only highest calibre applicants being put forward for interview. Our commitment doesn’t stop at recruitment either, once the candidate is placed, we will be there for the employer and employee at every stage throughout the learning journey.”