OMBs slow to embrace apprenticeships

Owner Managed Businesses (OMB) are failing to hire a sufficient amount of apprentices, finds a study conducted by the Bank of Cyprus UK.

According to the latest OMB Barometer in which the bank interviewed a number of business owners, just ten per cent of owner managed businesses employ one or more apprentices.

One of the contributing factors to this statistic could be the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers. At £1,500 per apprentice, only 14 per cent of respondents stated that the amount would be enough to persuade them to hire an apprentice.

A further eight per cent stated that they have found the process of hiring an apprentice too costly in the past, with 15 per cent of respondents citing a lack of financial resources and time as stumbling blocks.

Surprisingly, over half (54 per cent) of all OMBs surveyed did not think they would have enough work to keep an apprentice busy.

‘‘The research findings merit further investigation. Whilst small businesses instinctively understand the value of apprenticeships, there may be a perception that it entails a lot of red tape,’’ stated Tony Leahy of Bank of Cyprus UK.

‘‘The workload and cost involved in creating an apprenticeship programme may therefore outweigh the benefits for firms where time and money are precious commodities.”

In addition to financial support from government, there may be benefit in tackling this perception directly. Perhaps by tailoring the promotion of such programmes to OMBs/smaller businesses and providing them with easy access to information and resources.”