The poll discovered that 44 per cent of businesses plan to take on apprentices in the next five years. This compares to 36 per cent when the same question was asked a year ago.
The research involved 600 businesses and also found that
20 per cent of small and medium enterprises intend to hire one or more apprentices in the next 12 months, while 37 per cent of larger businesses plan to do the same.
Around a third of those that plan to take on apprentices say this is because they are “a core part of their growth strategy”.
National Apprenticeship Week kicked off on Monday (March 3) and has seen business secretary Vince Cable pay a visit to BT, which recently announced that they would take on 730 more apprentices over the next year.
Now in its seventh year, National Apprenticeship Week celebrates Apprenticeships and the positive impact that they can have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
Mr Cable, said: “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.
“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 businesses’ plans for sustainable growth.”
Elsewhere this year, the National Apprenticeship Service, in conjunction with Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative, has launched a project to help small business owners with Apprenticeships. “Apprenticemakers” is an online peer-to-peer mentoring community providing easy access to other businesses who have already taken on apprentices.
For more details on the National Apprenticeship Service, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk