FSB: Let’s help businesses take on apprentices

The Federation of Small Businesses has urged the government to make it easier for companies to take on apprentices.

More than 69 per cent of apprenticeships take place in small businesses that have fewer than 50 employees, and the organisation says that figure needs to be higher.

Suggestions include incentivising micro-businesses to take on apprentices through providing financial incentives, greater promotion of the Apprenticeship Training Agencies, and enabling small firms to access apprenticeships through the supply chain for public sector contracts.

John Walker, FSB national chairman, says, ‘Apprenticeships are valued very highly by small businesses, but government must recognise that it is the burden of employment law combined with a lack of information and guidance that stops small firms from taking an apprentice on.

‘With recent unemployment figures showing that the total number of under-25s out of work reached 951,000 in the three months to November, it is time for action.’

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