Survey ahead of National Apprenticeship Week 2013 reveals most businesses take on apprentices permanently

The majority of businesses that took on an apprentice have employed them full time following the apprenticeship period, research finds. 

One in six businesses (15 per cent) has an apprenticeship scheme and 60 per cent of those have taken on the recruit permanently, according to findings from The Apprenticeship Survey from BDRC Continental.

Nearly half of the companies interviewed (48 per cent) say that they are aware of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the government agency that coordinates apprenticeships in England.

Half of the respondents (49 per cent) surveyed think that the NAS £1,500 grant money, announced in November 2011, offers an incentive to help firms take on apprentices (16 per cent feel it definitely encourages businesses, 33 per cent that it possibly encourages them).

This view is stronger among companies with a current apprenticeship scheme in place.

Related: How to set up an apprenticeship scheme at your small business

Furthermore, there are indications that two thirds of companies that have plans to start recruiting apprentices soon, could be encouraged by the £1,500 grant.

Shiona Davies, director at BDRC Continental says, ‘The message from our survey is that there is a strong foundation of support for apprenticeships, which could be harnessed by doing more to raise awareness of the UK government’s support for them through the National Apprenticeship Service, and also raising awareness of incentives available for hiring young apprentices.

‘Nine out of ten businesses (89 per cent), whether they have apprentices or not, feel that such schemes are a great way of investing in and developing future employees, and eight out of ten think they are a good way to tackle youth unemployment.’

Davies adds that it is also encouraging to note that half of companies with a current apprenticeship programme say that they would take on additional apprentices if they could find more suitable candidates.

Key concerns about apprenticeships appear to be the time needed to train them (mentioned by 54 per cent of those who do not currently have an apprenticeship scheme) and how they could be used in the business (mentioned by 57 per cent with no current scheme).

Fewer than one in five of those with a scheme agree that these are issues for concern.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

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