Stephen Smyth, spokesman for ATG Training, the provider that trains Apprentices noted that numerous studies have made it clear that apprenticeships deliver massive benefits both for employers and their young trainees. Given the importance of apprenticeships for building the UK’s future talent base and tackling the problem of youth unemployment, the government has made it a priority to promote vocational training. But it needs to offer employers more support and bring its initiatives to a much wider corporate audience, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). The recruitment industry association was prompted to make this statement after its latest JobsOutlook survey established that 71% of employers have yet to make apprenticeships part of their talent strategy.
Among the 600 employers participating in the survey, 200 were asked whether they offered apprenticeships. Interestingly, 3% did not know the answer to that question but more important is the fact that only 26% said they ran apprenticeship programmes.
Commenting on the findings, REC chief executive Kevin Green stated that UK companies still had much work to do with regard to apprenticeships. The employers that have yet to embrace this practice should give their recruitment strategy serious consideration because they will find it difficult to meet their talent needs otherwise, both at present and in the future.
Green went on to add that the REC was keenly aware of how important it was to engage young people and help employers attract talented staff. But it is also very important that the government provide more support to apprentice recruiters, as well as ensure that information about various schemes reaches as many employers as possible. Previous research by the REC found that only 18% of employers were aware of and would use the Youth Contract scheme, Green noted.