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    By nurturing talent, cementing skillsets from scratch and providing apprentices with first-hand experience and training of a trade, apprentices bring benefits to both the apprentice and employer. The unique advantages of hands-on training mean apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly efficient and popular way for people to find full-time employment and for employers to fill skills gaps.

    The rising demand/popularity of apprenticeships

    In 2014, figures from the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) Apprenticeship Index showed that apprenticeship vacancies have been steadily rising. Vacancies for apprenticeships at all levels have grown, with High Apprenticeships having increased the most, followed by Advanced Apprenticeships and Intermediate Apprenticeships.

    Much of the rise of popularity in apprenticeships can be pinned on there being more varied and diverse roles people can pursue as a route into their chosen career. What was once confined to the likes of building and plumbing, businesses operating in IT, media, health and social care, and much more, are now making apprenticeships part of their recruitment makeup.

    The government’s ambitious plan to create three million apprenticeships by 2020 is also contributing to the surge in popularity for employers to offer to train staff with the right skills through apprenticeship programs.

    Apprenticeships are helping employers fill skills gaps

    The UK’s lack of skills has, in recent years, been threatening to harm the nation’s growth and competitiveness. According to a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), employers are struggling to fill vacancies due to the sharpest drop in the number of suitable available candidates in eight years.

    The vocations with the biggest skills gaps include IT specialists, engineers, accountants and care workers, the REC report found.

    Apprenticeships have been helping employers fill the chronic skills gaps many businesses are faced with. Training and skilling staff with the right skills through apprenticeships is helping employers build for growth in the coming years.

    Unlike graduates who typically leave university with little in the way of management skills, investing in management apprenticeships provides school and college leavers with practical experience that’s crucial in learning vital leadership and management proficiencies.

    Apprenticeships are leading to full-time work

    Typically taking between one and four years to finish, apprentices have sufficient time during their apprenticeship to not only learn vital skills and train in a specific profession but also to make important business contacts with colleagues, managers and clients. Such contacts can prove invaluable for apprentices when they actively seek employment following the successful completion of their apprenticeship.

    Even better still, knowing that the apprentice is adequately skilled for a certain role, many employers offer full-time employment to apprentices.

    According to a study carried out by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in 2014, almost half of businesses are set to hire apprentices by 2019. The study found that 33% of employers think it is now easier to employ apprentices, with 41% agreeing that apprentices stay in the business longer than other recruits.

    In short, embarking on an apprenticeship is becoming an increasingly popular and effectual way for youngsters to kick start their career and, for employers, a vital way to bridge skills gaps and recruit well-trained staff.

    Hadyn Luke, Director of CMS Vocational Training (CMSVOC).

    About CMSVOC: They offer a vast range of courses and training programmes across diverse sectors. CMSVOC is committed to helping people of all ages, backgrounds and industries, find the right course and training programme so they can progress in their chosen career or embark on a new career.

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