25% of UK organisations have never considered apprentices, despite evidence that they are highly valued, according to new research by The Adecco Group UK and Ireland, the UK and Ireland’s largest workplace solutions organisation.
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.”
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.”
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