Two in every five small businesses use apprentices to fuel future growth

Despite increase in apprenticeships, business owners cite affordability and a preference for skilled workers as main barriers to taking on an apprentice

An increasing number of the UK’s 5.4 million small and medium-sized enterprises are “now realising the benefits” of taking on apprentices, new research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has revealed.

Approximately two in five (39%) UK businesses with at least 10 employees took on one or more new apprentices over the last year – dropping to 16% among micro-businesses (fewer than 10 employees). Of these businesses, 43% have kept on at least half of their apprentices.

The survey also revealed that 25% of businesses with between one and 249 employees  plan to recruit an appprentice over the next year, jumping to 50% of businesses with at least 10 employees.

When asked what the main barriers were to taking on apprentices, business owners cited the costs (14%), a lack of need (28%), and a preference for already skilled workers (18%).

Mark Farrar, chief executive of the AAT, said:

“[Apprentices] are becoming increasingly popular for companies of all shapes and sizes, and also across all sectors – not just those traditionally associated with apprenticeship schemes such as construction and engineering – but also professions including accountancy and information technology.”

Learn more about how an apprentice can benefit your business here.

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