Press release

Apprenticeships score top marks from businesses and apprentices

Apprenticeships are highly praised: 78% of apprentices and 81% of businesses say they would recommend them to friends or other employers.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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  • 8 out of 10 (83%) apprentices say apprenticeship boosted their career prospects
  • 7 out of 10 (72%) employers say apprenticeships improved their product or service quality

Apprenticeships have been highly praised in a new survey, with nearly 8 out of 10 (78%) apprentices and 8 out of 10 (81%) businesses saying they would recommend them to friends or other employers.

How apprenticeships deliver for employers and apprentices: infographic

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The surveys from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) also showed that 8 out of 10 (83%) apprentices said their apprenticeship improved their ability to do their job and boosted their career prospects.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

Despite the tough economic climate we have prioritised funding for Apprenticeships. With numbers increasing by more than 80% in the last two years we know they are a popular choice. Today’s survey reinforces this, proving that apprenticeships boost the prospects for both young people and businesses.

Building a skilled workforce, partly through apprenticeships, will give employers the skills they need to build a stronger economy throughout the UK.

The survey follows new data released last week which showed that 54% of young people in England would choose to do an apprenticeship if one were available.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly attractive option for school leavers who want to forge a successful career by earning while they learn. This research shows why they are good news for both young people and employers.

Whether they want to be a pilot, an accountant or even a space engineer, I would urge teenagers receiving their exam results to consider how an apprenticeship could help them achieve their career goals.

We want it to become the new norm that young people go either to university or into an apprenticeship.

Research published in April this year also showed that employers find apprentices 15% more employable than young people with other qualifications. In the study, employers ranked higher apprentices as the most employable of all young people – above those with degrees.

Notes to editors

  1. The full surveys are available on request from the BIS Press Office. They consist of a survey of 4,000 employers of apprentices, a survey of 5,000 apprentices and a follow up survey of over 4,000 apprentices who completed between 1 and 4 years ago. The reports from the survey are Apprenticeship Evaluation: Learners report and Apprenticeships Evaluation: Employer report. An infographic with the key findings has been published with the press release How apprenticeships deliver for employers and apprentices: infographic (PDF, 1.06MB, 1 page) .

  2. Separate ICM Research released on 12 August 2013 interviewed 1,000 14-24 year-olds from 3 to 11 May 2013 from England. The percentages refer to all those saying they would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ like to do an apprenticeship if one were available.

  3. In data released on 8 April 2013, employers were asked to rate the employability of people with different qualifications on a scale of 1-10 where 1 was not at all employable and 10 was very employable. The mean rating for those with an apprenticeship was 7.36, the mean rating for all others was 6.382. The percentage increase was therefore calculated as (7.36-6.382)/6.382x100 = 15%.

  4. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 20 August 2013