The AAT report, produced in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), has stated that apprenticeships funding is key to tackling the UK’s skills shortages, notably in sectors such as ICT and construction.
Recent statistics show that apprentices currently bring in £1.8 billion of benefit to businesses in the UK. However, the AAT, a professional body for accounting professionals, have highlight the following concerns:
- Construction and ICT show a decline in apprenticeship numbers, despite suffering from acute skills shortages. ICT apprenticeship starts dropped by 28 per cent between 2010/11 and 2012/13, while construction starts reached a ten-year low.
- London, the South East and Scotland are underrepresented for apprenticeship starts relative to their working-age population. London accounted for 13% of employment in the UK in the three months to May 2014, but just 8% of apprenticeship starts in 2012/13.
The AAT have called for more awareness about apprenticeships in schools to help fill these skills gaps and drive UK growth.