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People, Apprentices and Skills Revealed as Key to Business Expansion

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New research released to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week has found businesses place apprentices at the heart of their plans to rise to the top and rank hiring the right staff as the most important factor in helping them grow.

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Government’s drive to equip people with the skills that employers need to grow and compete and today’s research shows that eight in ten managers believe apprentices are vital to their organisation’s expansion plans.

The research also showed that managers hiring apprentices were five times more likely to believe the company would expand rapidly, than those that don’t.

Two thirds (61%) of managers in growing firms 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 new independent research for the Skills Funding Agency found that the right people and skills are ten times more important to businesses when it comes to expansion than access to finance.

National Apprenticeship Week launches today 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.

Full details of the events happening across England can be found on the events map.

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