In an attempt to help close the skills gaps emerging across the UK economy, JTL has carried out research that reveals the key reasons that businesses tend to avoid recruiting apprentices into the workforce.
Over the last three years, JTL has seen its number of apprentices grow, but that is very much against the trend being seen across the UK, with a huge drop in the number of apprentices in the past two years, despite the Government’s previous predictions.
JTL has devised the ‘Trade Up’ campaign to provide advice and guidance for businesses to dispel many of the myths that are out there and to provide further support in those very areas that respondents say they want help.
CEO of JTL Jon Graham commented: “The recent changes to funding for apprenticeships have inevitably had more effect on smaller companies.
“The resources for understanding the changes and administration are less than for a major business with dedicated departments to look after these matters.
“We were convinced – and are even more so now – that small companies will resist the opportunity to employ apprentices if it is perceived as just another costly issue to worry about.”
He continued: “We have to address these [false perceptions] – particularly with regard to the funding issues.
“It’s interesting that those who are already employing apprentices are far more likely to recruit again. They clearly do not see recruiting an apprentice to be as complex as those who have never done it.
“We need to get existing employers who recognise the benefits and clearly value apprenticeships to communicate those positives to fellow employers.”
He added: “Those of us in the training sector need to do better in communicating the value of apprenticeships and the vital role they have to play, particularly at this uncertain time.
“We know they provide high quality, motivated young people who could potentially take the place of those leaving the workplace, especially those we have previously relied upon from Europe.
“But we are clearly not getting that message across clearly or forcefully enough.”
As a way of dispelling myths surrounding apprenticeship schemes, JTL has devised a ‘Talking Heads’ video that is on its website and available to all organisations that want to use it.
In the video, those that currently employ apprentices make clear the benefits and argue the case against the apparent myths that are blocking future recruitment.
Amongst the myths busted are:
- “There is no need for fresh talent in the trades,”
- “Apprenticeship funding is difficult to understand,”
- “Taking on an apprentice isn’t cost effective,”
- “Taking on an apprentice involves too much paperwork,”
- “Taking on an apprentice will take up too much of my time.”
Jon Graham concluded: “Whatever happens around Brexit, there will be a huge need for qualified tradespeople to undertake the vast amount of work required in the UK.
“There are no apprenticeships without employers – that’s a fact, so we need to communicate more effectively that there are skills gaps looming that will hold this country back.”
For more information, visit: www.jtltraining.co.uk/tradeup.