Apprenticeships prove a hit with the young as well as businesses

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A PRESSURE group representing British manufacturers has praised a report which highlights the growing popularity of apprenticeships.

Eighty three per cent of apprentices believed that taking part in an apprenticeship had boosted their career prospects, according to a study carried out by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS).

Seventy two per cent of employers surveyed said apprenticeships had improved their products, or the quality of their service.

Researchers working on behalf of BIS surveyed 4,000 employers of apprentices to assess how apprenticeships had affected their business.

Five thousand apprentices were also surveyed, and there was a follow-up survey of more than 4,000 apprentices, who had completed their apprenticeship between one and four years ago.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said yesterday: “Despite the tough economic climate, we have prioritised funding for apprenticeships. With numbers increasing by more than 80 per cent in the last two years we know they are a popular choice. Today’s survey reinforces this, proving that apprenticeships boost the prospects for both young people and businesses.

“Building a skilled workforce, partly through apprenticeships, will give employers the skills they need to build a stronger economy throughout the UK.”

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly attractive option for school leavers who want to forge a successful career by earning while they learn.

“This research shows why they are good news for both young people and employers.

“We want it to become the new norm that young people go either to university or into an apprenticeship.”

Andy Tuscher, EEF’s regional director for the North, who speaks up for the manufacturing industry, said yesterday: “Today’s report shows that apprenticeships are very beneficial for both employers and learners.

“Apprentices gain transferable and key skills that they can use now and in the future, while they provide employers with a vital talent pool to fill skills gaps now, and secure a pipeline of talent for their business.

“Manufacturing apprenticeships are some of the most highly skilled and valued qualifications, which is why companies are investing so much time and money in them.

“With GCSE results day just around the corner, manufacturers will be urging young people to consider an apprenticeship in their industry, which holds ample career opportunities.”