We've got record numbers in work with 1.8 million apprentices starting training since 2010, the biggest expansion since the 1950s.
All young people should have the opportunity to get on in life, and apprenticeships are a great way to achieve that.
Its also great news for the economy, every time a local company hires an apprentice, it's bottom line gets an average boost of just over £2,000. This represents the benefit after typical wage and training costs here in the South West are deducted, but the advantage ‘kicks in’ as soon as the apprentice joins the firm and starts being trained.
Last year, 1,000 people started an apprenticeship in my patch and this means that new apprentices alone provided a local boost of over £2 million last year.
We've also made it easier for businesses to take on apprentices. We have given 40,000 businesses grants of up to £1,500 for each young unemployed person they take on as an apprentice and put £550m into improving college facilities for apprentices.
The number of apprentices has been increasing rapidly. Despite this, surveys show that 60% of small businesses are missing out because they don’t know enough about how apprenticeships work. Many assume that an apprenticeship is difficult to administer and will involve a short-term cost.
Research has been commissioned by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), which has pioneered apprenticeships in accounting. Less traditional areas of work like accounting now make up the majority of apprenticeships, demonstrating the huge expansion in the range and types available.
The Chief Executive of AAT, Jane Scott Paul, welcomed the news:
“I am delighted that Tessa is encouraging more companies to employ an apprentice. Far from being a cost, apprentices bring benefits straight away.”
“It’s really important that employers know there are apprenticeships of all shapes and sizes, including those in non-traditional sectors like accounting and law. That’s how apprentices boosted UK firms by £1.8 billion last year.”
If you're interested in becoming an apprentice or you're thinking of hiring one please feel free to contact me for details.