Research In To Apprenticeships Suggests Solution to Future Skills Shortages

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25th April 2013 10:41 - Central Government

Following concerns over skills shortages forecast for the UK in coming 10-20 years, research carried out by learndirect and the Cranfield School of Management implies that apprenticeships are essential to help build a sustainable workforce and get more people into employment.

The report, ‘Nurturing Talent: Building the Workforce of the Future’ indicates that 70% of UK firms surveyed have not taken measures to remedy the potential skills shortages in the labour market.

However, encouragingly, the report highlighted that 21% of firms surveyed do employ apprentices - 32% of which say that the apprenticeship training schemes were effective in addressing shortages of technical skills. In addition, 7% of business leaders from companies employing apprentices, found it an easy task to find suitable young people for the roles.

The report, to some extent, highlighted young people’s lack of basic skills. Of the business leaders surveyed:

  • 30% said that English literacy and language skills among non-graduates aged under 25 were poor
  • 28% had issues regarding their general attitude
  • 25% said there was an inability to communicate effectively
  • 21% said their maths abilities were insufficient for employment

Findings show that there is a lot of support for the Government’s drive to reduce youth unemployment.

Around half of business leaders taking part in the research (54%) said they needed more support from the government to improve basic English and maths skills of young people, and 75% agreed with the government’s focus on the scheme.

  • 34% of apprentice-employers agreed that they could promote trainees through their organisation.
  • 32% believe apprenticeships help with employee retention.

The report details how white collar professions, such as the financial sector (23%) also run apprenticeships, and that it is not just the traditional industries such as construction who employ young apprentices.

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