Even more people will get an opportunity to earn while they learn after more than 20,000 new apprenticeships were pledged by employers as part of National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March 2014).
Announcements have been made by hundreds of businesses around the country including Lloyds Banking Group who have committed to hiring 5,000 apprentices.
It’s not just big corporates that are showing their commitment to apprenticeships – 47% of the employers creating new apprenticeships are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Companies that have pledged new apprenticeships include BT, ITV, Network Rail, Be Wiser Insurance, Central Bedfordshire Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Ashtead Plant Hire, Southend Citizen Advice Bureau and Virgin Media. Meanwhile, Capita Personal Independence Payment have pledged to make 5% of its non-healthcare workforce apprentices and have launched a drive to hire more young people with disabilities onto apprenticeships.
National Apprenticeship Week has also seen a boost to the new traineeships, which give young people the work preparation training, English, maths and work experience they need to get an apprenticeship or other job.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The government is putting an end to the damaging divide between vocational and academic learning. We are committing the biggest ever investment in apprenticeships and are on track to create 2 million apprenticeships over the course of this parliament.
“The resounding success of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week demonstrates that apprenticeships are deservedly becoming more popular with business of all sizes. Apprentices already contribute £1.8 billion to the economy and with these further commitments, thousands more people will now be able to get the practical skills they need to build careers and help firms grow.”
Research from the Association of Accounting Technicians revealed that apprentices delivered around £1.8 billion of net economic benefits to UK organisations in the last year.
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock MP said: “We want to make going to university or into an apprenticeship the new norm, and over half of young people say they would like to do an apprenticeship if one were available. So it’s great that as National Apprenticeship Week 2014 comes to a close we can announce that 20,432 new positions are to be created.”
Our specialists at JW Hinks can advise and assist on sound business decisions through strategic planning which may involve the introduction of an apprenticeship scheme to increase productivity and grow the business. For more information, please contact us.