Apprentices are key to helping businesses grow, according to new research.
Data released to mark National Apprenticeship Week found that people, apprentices and skills were rated by businesses as the most important factor in helping them grow.
The research showed that seven in 10 Yorkshire and Humber managers believe apprentices are vital to their organisation’s expansion plans.
The research also showed that Yorkshire & Humber managers hiring apprentices were five times more likely to believe the company would expand rapidly than those that don’t.
Two-thirds of managers in growing firms across the region felt that hiring the right staff or having employees with the right skills was the most important factor in realising the company’s ambitions.
The new independent research for the Skills Funding Agency found that the right people and skills are 14 times more important to businesses when it comes to expansion than access to finance.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, leading companies including Starbucks, Prezzo, Fortnum and Mason, Deloitte, Greene King and BT have pledged major commitments to apprenticeships. Throughout the Week, employers of all sizes will come together to showcase how apprenticeships help them #RiseToTheTop of their industry.
The Government aims to create 3m apprenticeships by 2020 and launch a new independent, employer-led, Institute for Apprenticeships to regulate the quality of apprenticeships in England, take on responsibility for approving new apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.
Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney said 5,600 new apprentices have started in his constituency since May, 2010, with more than 2.6m starting across England.
He said: “The Government is driving up the standards of apprenticeships and introducing new routes into the professions.
“The opportunity to earn and learn is why we’ve already seen 323,300 new apprenticeships created in Yorkshire and the Humber since May, 2010. These recent figures show that we are making progress towards our goal.”
Employers’ group the EEF said a record number of manufacturers are looking to recruit apprentices this year – with 79% planning to recruit a manufacturing and engineering apprentice and 45% intending to recruit an apprentice for other roles.
Andy Tuscher, Yorkshire region director, said: “Manufacturers have a long track record of championing high quality apprenticeships and ensuring that young people enjoy every opportunity to start a satisfying and well-paid career.”
To find out more about National Apprenticeship Week, go to www.gov.uk/naw2016