According to the Federation of Small Business, last year SMEs employed 15.2 million people, almost half of the UK workforce. So it’s clear to see why it’s vital their needs are met if we are to have a truly effective apprenticeship system in the UK
To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week, City & Guilds is calling on Government to remember the needs of small businesses as the apprenticeship system continues to be reformed.
While City & Guilds welcomes reforms that will place the apprenticeship system into the hands of the employer, it is urging Government to fully consider the needs of smaller business as changes are made.
Kirstie Donnelly MBE, UK managing director at City & Guilds, said: “An apprentice is a valuable asset for any business, so we fully recognise the need for a system that better meets the needs of employers.
“However, the Government has to remember that one system will not suit everyone. Smaller businesses already struggle with limited time and resources, and too much bureaucracy will only make the system worse. It’s vital that the new management and funding arrangements do not discourage them from employing an apprentice.”
According to the Federation of Small Business, last year SMEs employed 15.2 million people, almost half of the UK workforce. So it’s clear to see why it’s vital their needs are met if we are to have a truly effective apprenticeship system in the UK.
One SME who demonstrates the importance of apprenticeships to smaller business is Xtrac, a transmission technology specialist who supply parts for motorsports and the defence sector worldwide. Xtrac has been reaping the benefits of apprenticeships for many years is also part of a group advising City & Guilds on how best to support businesses who employ apprentices.
Warren Page, apprenticeship manager at Xtrac, said: “Apprentices are vital to the future of our company, they are the next generation of leaders and are often our most talented and inspiring employees. I would advise any small business to consider employing an apprentice it’s definitely worth the effort. They are hardworking and loyal and can be shaped to the needs of your business. The return on investment is incredible.”
These comments come on the same day the London Stock Exchange launches its publication, ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain,’ which celebrates the UK’s most innovative SMEs. City & Guilds is committed to ensuring the needs of industry are represented and is supporting almost all of the apprenticeship trailblazers groups set up to shape assessment plans for the new apprenticeship standards.