Employers value apprenticeship experience over periods of study for new hires

Some 93 per cent of employers would opt to take on someone who has completed a three-year apprenticeship over somebody who has spent three years studying.

The research, carried out by Positive Outcomes, a national provider of work-based training and apprenticeships, questioned 100 UK employers over their attitudes towards apprenticeship experience in the run up to the GCSE and A-level results days.

As part of the study, employers were asked: ‘Thinking about your own company would you take on somebody who had completed a three-year apprenticeship rather than three years studying?’ to which 93 per cent said ‘yes’, with only 7 per cent responding ‘no.’

Kelly Ball, managing director of Positive Outcomes says that 93 per cent is a huge endorsement of the value that apprenticeships bring.

‘The beauty of them is that you’re gaining hands-on experience that is of direct value to an employer. An apprentice is contributing to a business while also developing their own personal skills and abilities.’

Studying, on the other hand, has its obvious limitations, she adds. ‘There’s only so much you can learn in a classroom. While it’s a great medium to convey theoretical working life, an apprenticeship lets you live it and experience it first-hand. With the need to improve skills in the UK, this is something that’s becomingly increasingly important.’

Respondents to the survey were also asked whether or not they agreed with the statement ‘Apprentices bring a wealth of enthusiasm and energy with them and can make a real difference to a company’s growth’, to which 86 per cent said ‘yes’, with only 14 per cent saying ‘no’.

Apprenticeship experience directly contribute to business success

Ball says, ‘Apprentices are highly valued for what they bring into a business. Taking on an apprentice will see them earning a wage, learning invaluable skills and directly contributing to the success of a business. This experience at a young age will set them up for life.’

In a separate study by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, 66 per cent of parents would tell their children that apprenticeship experience is a great way to train and get paid for the right job in their chosen field.

Lucy Ireland, Deputy CEO of BCS L&D Ltd, part of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, explains, ‘With the government pledging to create 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020 now is an ideal time for young people who want to start their career in IT, as well as people looking for a new career. It’s great that parents are recognising the value of apprenticeships which provide a world of opportunity.”

The Institute survey finds that 71 per cent of parents think it is important for their child to gain work experience to develop practical skills.

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Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.