DfE encourages more businesses to offer apprenticeships
Small businesses from across England feature in the Get In Go Far campaign, highlighting the benefits of apprenticeships.
Get In Go Far - the government’s flagship campaign to promote apprenticeships - launched a new wave of activity today (22 February 2017), focused on promoting apprenticeships to employers.
The campaign highlights the wide range of benefits that apprentices can bring to a business, with the aim of increasing the number of apprenticeships offered in England.
Advertising on the radio and LinkedIn will tell the stories of several businesses currently employing apprentices. This activity will also be supported by telemarketing activity carried out by the Skills Funding Agency.
New analysis in support of the campaign highlights that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are set to recruit 202,000 new apprentices in the next 12 months, helping more young people get their foot in the door at leading companies across the country.
Additional research also highlights the many ways in which apprentices boost the businesses they work for:
• more than 24,000 apprentice-employing SMEs in the private sector reported that hiring an apprentice has actually helped them win business
• 3 in 4 SMEs that employ apprentices report increased productivity thanks to apprenticeships with product/service improvement
• nearly all (96%) SMEs report at least one business benefit to hiring an apprentice
However, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure employers of all sizes gain the skills they need for their workforce. Almost three-quarters of SMEs still remain to be convinced about the merits of taking on an apprentice.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said:
"We know that apprenticeships give people of all ages and all backgrounds a ladder of opportunity to get the skills they need. That is why more than 90% of apprentices stay in employment after their scheme ends.
"It’s fantastic to see that so many SMEs are taking advantage of the programme, ensuring they get the workforce they need but we must do more to encourage SMEs to come on board and hire more apprentices."
Oliver Mangham, Applications Director at Fairfield Control Systems, who himself started as an apprentice and who features in the new campaign, commented:
"For SMEs like ours, an apprentice provides a great way for a business to grow the talent we need.
"Companies can shape their training to provide skills tailored to their business and, on top of that, the apprentices will bring enthusiasm, fresh ideas and aid innovation."
Mike Cherry, Chair of the Federation of Small Business, has backed the new government campaign. He commented:
"Small firms understand that apprenticeships make good business sense. Having apprentices can be a real asset for many smaller businesses and are vital to the future of the UK economy.
"FSB members are taking on more apprentices than ever before and are a fantastic way to enable young people to gain the skills they need to succeed. We’d encourage all small businesses to explore how an apprentice could fit in their organisation."
Berthon Boats, one of the stars of the campaign, advise customers internationally on buying and selling high-quality sailing, motor and performance yachts. They have taken on 65 apprentices in the last 6 years, helping them to bid on bigger contracts and ensure the future of their business.
Fairfield Control Systems also feature. Their apprentices can gain a range of qualifications including a Higher National Diploma or Bachelors in Engineering (BEng). The knowledge and talent their apprentices bring have helped the company bridge a skills gap and grow rapidly.
The campaign is launched in advance of a new ‘STEP’ funding offer becoming available to SMEs from 1 May 2017.