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Retail firms to take on more apprentices

New research released to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week has shown that half of England’s retail and consumer products and services companies are planning to take on apprentices in the next five years.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retail firms to take on more apprentices

Moreover, 27% of the businesses said they intend to hire an apprentice in the next 12 months.

The study of 600 businesses revealed that across all industries 44% of employers plan to take on apprentices in the next five years. It also shows that one fifth of SMEs plan to take on one or more apprentices in the next 12 months alone, with 37% of larger businesses planning to do the same.

Of those that are planning to hire apprentices, many said that would do so because the talent pool had widened as apprenticeships become more popular, because it had become easier to employ apprentices and because they had more job roles in their business that would suit an apprentice. Overall, 41% of employers agreed that apprentices stay in the business longer than other recruits.

The poll also found that 43% of all employers and 48% of retail and consumer products and services firms said they would be more likely to employ an apprentice now than they were two years ago.

Ahead of a visit to BT, which recently announced that they would take on 730 more apprentices over the next year, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said: “As we kick off National Apprenticeship Week it’s good to see that employers are increasingly recognising the value apprentices can bring to their businesses. Apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for most businesses large or small – and the huge increase which this Government has overseen is one of my proudest achievements.

“Given the grants available to help small businesses take on apprentices, it’s especially good that so many SMEs are embracing apprenticeships in the coming years and that apprentice recruitment now forms a key part of a businesses’ plans for sustainable growth.”

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