Apprenticeships can make businesses more competitive

In light of National Apprenticeship week East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds has thrown his weight behind the initiative. In an opinion piece for The Portsmouth News Mr Hinds claims apprenticeships provide an alternative option providing a positive impact for businesses and individuals.
 
The number of people starting apprenticeships in East Hampshire has rapidly increased by 86% to 520 in 2012/13 since 2009/10.

Hinds commented: 
“Taking on apprentices can be a very effective way of addressing skills shortages in a business, enabling a workforce to be tailored so it has the specific skills and qualities an organisation needs.”
 
“The feedback from businesses who have taken on apprentices speaks volumes. Seventy-seven per cent say that they believe it has made their business more competitive and 88 per cent think it has led to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.” He continued.

Financial support from the government is available to employers with less than 1,000 employees. A grant of up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice between 16 and 24 can be claimed. It seems that the response from businesses taking on apprentices in the MPs constituency has been positive.
 
77% of businesses who have taken on apprentices believe that it has made their business more competitive with 88% under the assumption it has led to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.

“It is good that alternative options such as these are open to young people in East Hampshire after the age of 16, rather than the usual two paths of remaining in full-time education or going straight into a job.” Hinds says.