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If apprenticeships are so advantageous, why do less than half of UK businesses have one?

For the apprentice themselves, the opportunity to learn while they earn is usually a major selling point

Historically, apprenticeship schemes have remained a tried and tested method of in-house training that have benefited companies and apprentices alike. It is therefore surprising to learn that despite all the apparent advantages, over half of UK employers are yet to offer apprenticeship schemes within their business.

Studies indicate that apprentices will increase productivity within teams and can often be flexibly trained to meet the requirements of the business at a minimal cost – sometimes even a non-existent cost if the placement is fully funded by a third party.

Not only will they gain employable skills and first-hand experience in their chosen field but they will also receive a regular wage and – in most cases – some paid holiday entitlement.

Aside from these obvious benefits, research carried out by The Tech Partnership states that companies feel they have a social responsibility to offer an apprenticeship scheme, believing that it may improve the image of the company and benefit local communities.

Some of the key reasons for not having an apprenticeship scheme are cited in a survey hosted by The Tech Partnership in February and March 2016, with responses from a variety of employers including tech and non-tech companies, SMEs and large, multinational corporations.

33% of these organisations stated that they do not believe they can offer the right role to an apprentice, while 39% admitted they simply did not know how to get started with an apprentice scheme. A further 39% felt that the current apprenticeship framework has no place within their business and cannot therefore meet their needs or, presumably, the needs of an apprentice.

Further research among companies with experience of offering an apprenticeship scheme found that 56% encountered some difficulties in finding the right person for the job. Identifying appropriate, high-quality training that can ultimately benefit productivity within the team has also been problematic.

The HR Director reports that in response to these issues, The Tech Partnership has developed Tech Industry Gold apprenticeships. These are designed to support both businesses and apprentices through world-class training that is relevant to their field.

Designed and accredited by major employers, this scheme is a way to assure companies thinking about offering an apprenticeship scheme that their newcomers will be sourced and trained to a reputable standard; indeed, 62% of the survey respondents said they would feel more confident using a programme that had been accredited by The Tech Partnership.

Ultimately, apprenticeships can be beneficial to everyone, with the availability of an accredited scheme reassuring companies that their business requirements are more likely to be met.

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