Can apprenticeships bridge the skills gap that Brexit is expected to create? That’s the suggestion made by the 5% Club last week which was set up to encourage action to address the skills shortages and reduce unemployment among young people.
Last year the number of apprenticeships increased by 24% compared to a 2% rise in graduate vacancies but they failed to attract young people. The number of people aged under 25 enrolling on apprenticeships rose by only 4% between 2010-2014.
Has that situation changed? The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) believes so. Its recent survey found that over half of school students will now consider them for the work experience and learning skills they offer, but others aren’t so sure. Three quarters of SMEs remain to be convinced over the value apprenticeships will bring to their businesses, although the Department of Education predicts that SMEs will recruit 200,000 apprenticeships next year.