A quarter of UK employers have never considered employing apprentices

New research shows that 25% of UK organisations have never considered apprentices, despite evidence that they are highly valued. 

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A quarter of UK organisations have never considered apprentices.

The Adecco Group UK&I’s report, Closing the Skills Gap: Will Apprenticeships Deliver the Workforce of Tomorrow? includes research that found that a popular reason for not employing apprentices is that respondents feel an apprenticeship qualification is not well suited to their business needs (27%). This is followed by the idea that apprenticeships require too much time from the management team (18%), and the worry that they are too much of a long-term commitment in the current market (11%).

Employers do seem to understand some of the benefits of apprentices versus graduates, with apprentices believed to integrate better into company culture (according to 47% of respondents, with a balance of +40) and respondents thinking apprentices have a longer duration of employment (44%, with a balance of +19). Yet despite this, a worrying number of employers are still not offering apprenticeships as a career route.

Chris Moore, President of Group Operations, The Adecco Group UK and Ireland, said: “These findings are worrying in light of the recent introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy. We need to be promoting the tangible workplace benefits that apprenticeships offer in terms of culture-fit and tenure. We might just find that apprenticeships become the key to our country’s success if Brexit creates further talent gaps.”

Respondents feel an apprenticeship qualification is not well suited to their business needs (27%). This is followed by the idea that apprenticeships require too much time from the management team (18%), and the worry that they are too much of a long-term commitment in the current market (11%).

The report also highlighted that it’s not just skills shortages amongst Britain’s youth that apprenticeships could target. It found that more than 40% of the over 50s lack digital skills – skills that could be effectively introduced during advanced apprenticeships.

Moore continued: “The Apprenticeship Levy opens up new opportunities for workplaces to bring older workers’ digital skills up to speed. It’s time we stop thinking about apprenticeships as ‘less-than’ degrees and recognise the very real value they fulfil in the workforce.

The research was conducted with 1000+ UK employers in partnership with the CIPD as part of the CIPD/Adecco Group Labour Market Outlook 2016/2017. Fieldwork was undertaken between 09 -29 September and 2-23 December 2016.

The Adecco Group is the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions, transforming the world of work through talent and technology. Each year, The Adecco Group provides over one million people around the world with career opportunities, guidance and insights. 

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