Posted: Tuesday, 23 August 2016 @ 11:14
The two biggest UK employer organisations agree that the UK economy is growing. The British Chambers of commerce (BCC) estimate that the UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded by nearly 1.0% in the third quarter of 2013. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) state that economic growth is returning and that private sector job creation is continuing.
The CBI’s sixth education and skills survey of employers suggest that improved education and skills are required to support this economic growth. By 2020 almost half of jobs will be for managerial and professional roles.
Employers recognize the crucial importance of investing in their workforce skills. Over the course of the recession, businesses and employees have worked together to safe guard jobs and protect the skills base in preparation for the eventual upturn. Employers have invested heavily in training their staff, the UK’s commission for employment and skills (UKCES) estimates that the majority of workplaces 59% provide training for their staff.
Interestingly, on almost every measure, employers are becoming more satisfied with external training providers’ especially private sector providers. The proportion of employers involved in Apprenticeships has risen to more than two thirds (69%) and over half (55%) plan to take on apprentices in the next few years.
The survey shows the most important factors employers consider when recruiting school or college leavers are their attitude to work, general aptitude and literacy and numeracy. These qualities are the ones that Apprenticeship programmes focus on most of all.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) still have plenty of capacity to take on Apprentices with only 23%, less than a quarter, being currently involved. However SME’S provide the vast majority of employment opportunities across the UK and therefore could contribute significantly to the economic recovery.
John Herman the CEO of Intec Business Colleges agrees that the recruitment of apprentices by companies will be a vital element in the country’s economic growth.
He said “Companies growth prospects will undoubtedly be improved by recruiting young people as they will become the country’s workforce of the future. Apprentice recruitment continues to increase which is a good sign that companies understand the importance in up skilling the UK’s workforce. Higher level skills will be in big demand in the next few years and there is already indications that young people are opting for higher apprenticeships with a 147% increase in starts since their availability in 2009/2010”
He continues “Intec have delivered apprenticeship programmes throughout the country for the past 30 years. Over that time there has been a steady rise in the numbers of young people and companies engaged in apprenticeships. All of this has taken place against a backdrop of a recession, this activity has gone some way in helping the future prospects of companies and the economy as a whole”