A recent report featured in Global Recruiter highlights that, according to Talent Acquisition and Management Company Alexander Mann Solutions, the number of apprenticeships in the UK is likely to double by 2018.
The number of UK apprenticeships has soared from 279,690 in 2009 to 520,600 in 2012. From 2011 to 2012, the number of apprenticeships continued to grow (by 14 per cent) with around three quarters of apprentices now completing their training successfully, compared to just 50 per cent in 2006.
Tim Campbell, the first winner of the BBC TV Show, The Apprentice, and Head of Client Services for Emerging Talent at Alexander Mann Solutions, predicts that the number of apprentices in the UK will rise by over 50 per cent to 800,000 in the next five years.
Business administration and retail are the two sectors that are currently attracting the most apprentices. They are followed by healthcare, public services, engineering, manufacturing and construction. In London, the number of apprentices grew the most with a whopping 132 per cent, followed by the North East with a growth of 107 per cent, whilst the South West has seen the smallest increase with only 60 per cent.
“There are many bright young people actively opting for apprenticeships over university degrees, and job opportunities for apprentices are growing as employers understand the value they deliver,” says Tim Campbell. “It’s a win-win situation – employers benefit from a team of motivated new employees who are keen to learn the ropes, while apprentices become more confident by learning practical workplace skills.”
With the lower confidence of today’s economic environment, apprenticeships are certainly becoming a credible alternative to university degrees. Learning-on-the-job can provide graduates with competitive and practical work skills necessary to gain the essential minimum experience to become attractive to employers. Businesses can also reap the rewards of providing regular training as it boosts productivity and improves staff retention rates. Companies can either provide training internally or team up with a learning and development consultancy should they require an outsourced, less resource-intensive approach.
Campbell also added: “Some 80 per cent of workplaces employing apprentices agree that they make the workplace more productive. Making the most of the growing numbers of successful apprentices means getting to the heart of their values and skills, and introducing a rigorous talent management process to find and keep the best people.”
With the government proactively encouraging apprenticeships and providing funding for small to medium businesses, it’s proving to be a real win-win route for graduates who mean business.