The current education system is failing to provide the skills required by employers in a range of sectors including engineering, IT, digital, healthcare and facilities management sectors to name but a few.
To address this deficit, the government committed to creating three million new apprenticeships by 2020, paid for in part by the new Apprenticeship Levy introduced in April this year.
Under this scheme, employers with a wage bill of £3m or more must commit 0.5 per cent to help fund the initiative, with the government topping this up by 10 per cent.
Now research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) points to increases in numbers of apprenticeships already – some 4,600 more than last year – but persuading young people is still a challenge.
A range of providers including Jigsaw Training offer learning at this level along with advice for employers about the levy scheme and how to best use it for maximum benefit.
We believe this initiative should be supported wherever possible. It makes sense, offering young people an alternative to university while they earn and make their way in a career.
The mix of skills and job types also offers diverse opportunities and enables employers to add to their graduate recruitment schemes to meet their own specific objectives.
Ultimately, it means young people have further options and that has to be a step in the right direction as we strive to find those much-needed skills desperately required by employers.