Research: Apprentices key to business growth according to majority of managers

Eight in ten managers believe apprentices are vital to their organisation’s expansion plans, a new research has revealed.

To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week, market research consultancy Morar (formerly Redshift) conducted an independent research among 3,989 employees in the first week of March on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency.

Of the 917 line managers in growing firms, two thirds (61%)  felt that hiring the right staff or having employees with the right skills was the most important factor in realising the company’s ambitions.

The survey found the right people and skills are ten times more important to businesses when it comes to expansion than access to finance.

The research also showed that managers hiring apprentices were five times more likely to believe the company would expand rapidly than those that didn’t. Among apprentice line managers, a quarter were found to believe their firm will expand rapidly.

National Apprenticeship Week launches today (14 March) with an event at London’s Shard that is designed to encourage more businesses to take on apprentices.

To mark the start of the week, seven top companies are announcing major commitments to apprenticeships, including Starbucks, Prezzo, Fortnum and Mason, Deloitte, Greene King, BT and Addleshaw Goddard.

David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte UK, said:

“Improving social mobility is one of the UK’s biggest challenges. One of the ways in which we are seeking to address this is by doubling the number of positions available through our BrightStart Business Apprenticeship Scheme.

“The scheme will provide 200 high quality apprenticeships to school and college-leavers, giving them the opportunity to study technical qualifications whilst working at the firm.

For us, there is a clear business imperative to get this right. In order to provide the best possible service and make an impact with our clients, we need to hire people who think and innovate differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a range of perspectives and experience into the firm. We truly value this difference.”

Throughout the Week, employers of all sizes will be coming together to showcase how apprenticeships help them #RiseToTheTop of their industry.