As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, new figures have been released highlighting just how popular the scheme has become in recent years.
New research from AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) has found that almost half (48%) of UK businesses have taken on an apprentice in the last five years.
The study shows that apprenticeships can act as a catalyst for young people looking for a quick route into employment, and the majority of businesses believe apprenticeships are on the up.
More than three quarters (77%) of British businesses think that young people will consider other routes into employment than university, including apprenticeships, over the next five years.
In addition just under two thirds (63%) believe apprenticeships will change the way they recruit staff in the future.
The study also shows that 29% of businesses will increasingly take apprenticeships into consideration, and a further 19% will attach less importance to a degree in their recruitment policy.
In fact, more than half (51%) of employers who have taken on candidates with apprenticeships added that they have generally performed better than those with a university degree.
Mark Farrar, chief executive at AAT, believes the results of the study are extremely promising, and that apprenticeships will becoming increasingly popular in coming years.
He said: “Our research into the apprenticeship landscape found that many young people are seriously considering apprenticeships as a way of gaining skills to enter their chosen profession, and therefore it is very encouraging to see that UK businesses are thinking along the same lines when it comes to recruitment.
“Our research shows that there are thousands of UK firms who want or will consider apprentices as part of their workforce, and this figure is only going to grow. This presents real opportunities for individuals to get on the career ladder, climb to success quickly and gain the skills necessary for landing their dream job.’’