Figures from the National Apprenticeship Service reveal that four out of five (81 per cent) employers say Apprenticeships will play a bigger part in their recruitment policy in future.
The independent report, compiled by Populus Research, suggests that for many employers, the current economic climate makes having an Apprenticeship programme more important than ever.
Three-quarters (75%) of those employers interviewed believed that despite the economic crisis, apprentices are more important than ever to their businesses. And a similar number, say that Apprenticeships have helped them cut their recruitment costs.
The research shows that lower recruitment costs and a perception that apprentices are more cost effective than other staff, ensure Apprenticeship programmes are increasingly important to businesses. Employers also believe that apprentices start to make a valuable contribution to their business quickly.
Minister for skills, John Hayes MP, welcomed the findings of the report – released the day after the government launched a new campaign to promote Apprenticeships.
“This research demonstrates that British businesses realise how important apprenticeships can be in helping their companies to grow.
“Clarity of policy, strength of commitment and certainty of purpose in Government has delivered record numbers of apprenticeship starts, outstanding success rates and growth across all sectors.
“This success, mirrored in every English region, is putting businesses on stronger ground to deliver a more balanced economy.”
Supporting the findings Keith Williams, British Airways chief executive said:
“Our apprentices have become a crucial part of our operation since we launched new schemes in 2010. I’m extremely proud that in a year when all eyes are on emerging young talent we are seeing our biggest intake of apprentices.”
The airline announced this week it will recruit an additional 200 apprentices this year.
Jaine Bolton, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, said:
“Encouraging more employers to offer quality Apprenticeships is absolutely vital in equipping young people with the skills they need for the future – and the skills that Britain needs to grow.
“We are committed to creating a new era for Apprenticeships with increased quality of courses and ensuring that there has never been a better time to offer or take an Apprenticeship.”