The TES is reporting that less than a third of companies expect to increase their numbers of apprentices – even though the introduction of the apprenticeship levy is just months away.
Only 30 per cent of companies who took part in the survey, conducted by the CBI and Pertemps UK, said they expect to create apprenticeship positions next year, while 4 per cent expect lower recruitment levels, despite the new system being introduced in April.
The survey also revealed that almost two-thirds of companies (64 per cent) viewed the skills gap as the top threat to competitiveness, while over half (58 per cent) said it was the biggest worry for the future.
Josh Hardie, deputy-director general of the CBI, said: “With record employment levels, more people than ever are now in work and the strengths of the UK labour market look set to yield positive results over the course of 2017.
“Businesses are 100 per cent committed to making the best of Brexit. However, this year’s survey does show a greater sense of concern about the UK’s long-term attractiveness as a place to create jobs. Getting our industrial strategy right and understanding what the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be, will help ensure that this worry does not negatively impact the future performance of the labour market.”
Chris Jones, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group, said: “The government has taken some really positive steps to enhance the skills system over the past few years. But when it comes to implementation, we need to avoid the mistakes of the past. That means working with employers and skills experts to shape implementation so that our skills system meets the needs of our economy now, and in the short and long-term future.”
Do you think we need to focus more on getting employers to increase the number of apprenticeships available? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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