Shortage of apprenticeships

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NEW research has revealed that less than a third of all small businesses offer apprenticeships.

The quarterly survey from the Close Brothers Business Barometer questioned SME owners and senior managers throughout the south east.

CEO Mike Randall said: ‘Apprenticeships could play a key role in helping SMEs bridge that skills gap but perhaps the cost and process of recruitment and training are prohibitive factors for many smaller businesses.’

The research however revealed that 17 per cent of companies say that apprentices improve business productivity.

And just over one in 10 state that it allows them to develop skill sets the business may be lacking.

Mr Randell added: ‘It’s evident that SMEs who participate in apprenticeship schemes see clear business benefits in doing so, I think it would be to the benefit of the wider economy.’