Now into its seventh year, National Apprenticeship Week will demonstrate the passion and enthusiasm our apprenticeship employers, apprentices and training organisations have for apprenticeships. With over 1,000 events already planned to take place across the country, this year will surely showcase a phenomenal week, bigger and better than ever before.
National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. The overarching theme for 2014 is ‘great’ apprenticeships, to demonstrate that apprenticeships are great for business, personal careers and create opportunities for both employers and apprentices.
According to new research conducted by ICM, almost half of businesses in the country plan to take on apprentices in the next five years. The study of 600 businesses also reveals that one fifth of SMEs plan to take on one or more apprentice in the next 12 months alone, with more than a third of larger businesses planning to do likewise. In addition, around a third of those that plan to take on apprentices say this is because they are a core part of their growth strategy.
Ahead of a visit to BT, who recently announced that they would take on 730 more apprentices over the next year, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, said: “As we kick off National Apprenticeship Week it’s good to see that employers are increasingly recognising the value apprentices can bring to their businesses. Apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for most businesses large or small – and the huge increase which this Government has overseen is one of my proudest achievements.
“Given the grants available to help small businesses take on apprentices, it’s especially good that so many SMEs are embracing apprenticeships in the coming years and that apprentice recruitment now forms a key part of a businesses’ plans for sustainable growth.”
Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive of BT, said: “Apprenticeships really deliver for our business. Hiring apprentices helps BT grow our own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. And for the apprentices, an apprenticeship is a way for them to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.”