Businesses are looking at apprentices to fill skills gap

More and more apprentices are being hired by UK businesses, as firms look to improve the nation’s skills gap, according to a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The CIPD interviewed 1000 business owners on their relationship towards apprenticeships.

The organisation found that more firms are looking to employ more apprentices and school-leavers. Over a third of companies are looking to hire apprentices.

In a separate CIPD report, the most common responses to addressing hard-to-fill vacancies are upskilling existing staff (50 per cent). Interestingly, firms are hiring more apprentices (33 per cent) than they are UK graduates (26 per cent).

In an interview with the BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Gerwyn Davies, labour market analyst for the CIPD stated that the apprenticeship industry is holding its own in what is a very strong jobs market.

‘‘The underlying factor is that the jobs market is very strong, that’s forcing more employers to look at a wider range of applicants.’’

Davies added that the apprenticeship sector is finally recovering from a difficult decade, in which the market had to endure the 2008 financial crisis.

‘‘After a long, dark decade, the prospects for young people are finally looking brighter.’’

graph apprentice