Apprentices are for life, not just for this week

Companies need to take a chance on hiring young people into apprenticeships or risk a ‘lost generation’, says British Chambers of Commerce

Apprentice learning machining skills

Businesses need to have the confidence to hire young people

By Nora Senior

8:48AM GMT 06 Mar 2014

National Apprenticeships Week has cast a spotlight on the unique contribution that apprentices can make to a business, and why more firms should be looking to hire them.

This week, the Twittersphere has been ablaze with first-hand experiences of how apprentices are learning the skills employers value, all while earning a salary and contributing directly to the success of firms across the UK.

All this comes not a moment too soon. The latest unemployment figures show that youth unemployment currently stands at 917,000, a rate of nearly 20pc – nearly three times the rate of the workforce as a whole.

Many businesses are worried that in today’s burgeoning economic recovery, hiring a young person is a risky move because of their lack of experience, not to mention the investment of time and resource needed to train them. Much more must be done to encourage businesses to take a chance on employing young people. Otherwise we could end up with a ‘lost’ generation.

There are shining examples across the country of businesses that are willing and able to give young people a chance. There’s the construction firm in the North East that runs employability workshops in local schools and colleges to help teach young people about softer workplace skills. Or the painting and decorating company in London that runs a five-week pre-apprenticeship ‘bootcamp’ to create work-ready staff. Indeed, over 60pc of that company’s existing workforce was trained in-house as apprentices

Source: The telegraph 

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