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Recruitment and HR Blog

Have you considered employing an apprentice? If not, here’s why you should.

6th September 2018

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    • UK Government targets 3 million extra apprenticeships by 2020
    • 44% of businesses in the UK plan to take on apprentices over the next 5 years
    • 63% of employers regard workplace experience as significant or critical
    • Just 42% of employers are looking for academic qualifications

Over the course of the general election there was much focus on how the result would affect businesses across the UK. The Conservative Manifesto was heavily focused on business policies, and their strategy of funding extra apprentices in order to increase workplace skills and facilitate business growth seems to have been important for both businesses and workers.

Apprenticeships combine work based training with education. Apprentices get to work together with experienced staff, they learn skills that are specific to that industry, and they can work towards a qualification (from the equivalent of 5 GCSE’s to a Master’s degree). And while they are learning these skills they earn a wage instead of being plunged into tens of thousands of pounds of debt. With 279,000 people starting apprenticeship programmes in 2009/10, and 440,000 in 2013/14, it’s clear which path is looking more and more attractive to young people.

Apprenticeships have many benefits for businesses; they help businesses with skill shortages that they may have, apprentices can be tailored to specific job roles which makes them ideal for hard to fill vacancies. Apprenticeships are a great way of bringing fresh people into the business which will inevitably lead to new ideas and a revitalised workplace. Getting complacent with your skilled staff is an easy trap to fall into, but what happens when they inevitably retire or leave? Apprentices can make your business’ future much more secure if you’ve invested in them wisely.

Cath Harrison, Founder of JVP Group, started her career back in 1998 through a modern apprenticeship scheme. Cath comments “Although I gained great GCSE grades, a clear career path hadn’t been defined and I was keen to explore the workplace. The apprenticeship provided an invaluable opportunity to gain a wide range of knowledge, skills and experience, whilst working alongside a supportive group of professionals, giving an incredible insight to the commercial world. By demonstrating a strong work ethic and enthusiasm to learn, I was offered a permanent contract with excellent career prospects, and the solid foundation of fundamental knowledge, skills and experience gained, has definitely contributed to the career success I have subsequently gained in the recruitment sector over the past 14 years.”

Degrees can give students a good theoretical understanding of the subject, but what employers are really after is experience in the workplace. A study conducted in Wales shows that 63% of employers regard experience as significant or critical, while just 42% are looking for academic qualifications.

Marketing Assistant, Sion Jones graduated from University in 2013 and was fortunate to secure an opportunity through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme with JVP Group. Sion comments “Getting into employment after university was much tougher than I had originally anticipated. Although I worked part-time alongside my studies, I lacked the industry experience that the majority of employers are looking for. I feel very privileged to have been given this position at JVP Group, which is allowing me to build up my knowledge, skills and experience in the workplace whilst earning a wage.”

So are more school leavers now starting to consider apprenticeships as a viable career path instead of attending university? With student debt now averaging £44,000, higher education is becoming an increasingly unattractive path to take.

The government is offering a variety of apprenticeship funding packages for employers, which is great news as 44% of businesses in the UK are planning to take on apprentices over the next 5 years.

For more information on how your business can hire an apprentice, and on the grants available visit: or Careers Wales.

Let us know what you think of apprenticeships on our social media channels or email us at

To discuss the most effective methods to attract talent, contact JVP Group on 0844 967 4467.

Published by:                    Cath Harrison, JVP Group

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