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Apprenticeships 2018

Why hiring an apprentice is good for business


Sue Husband

Director, National Apprenticeship Service

For National Apprenticeship Week (5-9th March) Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, explains the benefits of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a key part of creating a stronger and fairer economy, where people of all ages and backgrounds can fulfil their potential. They help employers address skills shortages, upskill existing workers and attract new, diverse talent.

Success for individuals, employers, communities and the economy

Thousands of employers already benefit from flexible and high-quality apprenticeship training to help their organisation grow, 86 per cent of employers1 say that apprenticeships have helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation. Alongside this, apprenticeships boost career opportunities for people across the country – they are a great way for people to progress in work and life, whatever their age, gender or educational background. Four in five apprentices say the experience has improved their career prospects2, with 85 per cent going into work or further training after their apprenticeship ends.

4/5 apprentices say the experience has improved their career prospects, with 85% going into work or further training after their apprenticeship ends.

There has never been a better time to take on an apprentice, with reforms to apprenticeships firmly focused on improving quality in the system and giving employers the skills they need. Employers now lead on developing new apprenticeship standards, and can choose their preferred training organisation from a list of approved providers – giving them confidence in the quality of the training they buy. Higher and Degree apprenticeships, in particular, mean businesses can now train more employees in critical high-level skills, while offering ambitious individuals the chance to learn at university, to degree level.

Apprenticeships are bridging the skills gap

Many employers have already made apprenticeships a vital part of their strategic plans to recruit the skills they need in the future. We are working with employers to help them attract the right talent and boost the quality of candidates applying for apprenticeships.

Our apprenticeship reforms are making sure that employers will gain the skilled workforce they need to compete globally. We do not just want to see more apprenticeships; we want better apprenticeships in more sectors, covering more roles, and we want to persuade more employers to offer apprenticeships. Feedback from employers shows they are positive about the changes to apprenticeships and they are taking their time to plan high quality, well-planned apprenticeship provision that meets their needs.

Since May 2015, there have been more than 1.2 million individuals starting an apprenticeship, which will provide each of them with the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get on in life. This is a fantastic achievement, but it’s only the start. We want to make sure all employers have the skilled workforce they need. To reach our commitment of 3 million apprenticeship starts in England by 2020, we are ensuring apprenticeships are as accessible as possible, encouraging take up from under-represented groups so that even more people can benefit from the increased wage and employment prospects that apprenticeships offer.

To find out more about taking on an apprentice visit: If you want more information about apprenticeships or would like to apply visit:

1 More info for employers

2 More info for learners

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