England’s small businesses have ability to double apprenticeships
A new report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) states that England’s small businesses have the ability to double the number of apprentices they hire to more than two million. This will be possible only if the Government offers more attractive incentives and support packages.
The report stated that it was necessary to bring in apprenticeship reform if small businesses in England are to achieve the target of three million apprentices by 2020. This target has been set by the Government.
Not only does the report show that the small business sector has the ability to achieve the target set by the Government, but it also highlights some of the key challenges that the sector may face in reaching the target.
The report, titled Make or Break: Getting apprenticeship reform right for small businesses, stated that nearly 24 per cent of the FSB’s members already use at least one apprentice, and another 24 per cent have expressed a desire to employ one apprentice sometime in the future.
At the moment, England boasts 4.7 million small businesses, and the report suggests that if the existing industry situation is in sync with its findings, this sector has the ability to offer more than a million new apprenticeships.
One of the key barriers that is preventing small businesses from taking on new apprentices is the cost of training them. Businesses have to make a contribution towards the training cost, and this, as a result, is causing fewer businesses to take the apprenticeship route. To overcome this barrier, the FSB is urging the Government to offer a more lucrative incentive to small business owners than what is currently being offered.