Bradford Telegraph and ArgusYorkshire firms handicapped on apprenticeships - survey (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Yorkshire firms handicapped on apprenticeships - survey

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Some of those taking part in the Barclays Work Inspiration Week Some of those taking part in the Barclays Work Inspiration Week

Red tape, cost and poor quality candidates are putting off many local small and medium firms from taking on youngsters, a new report shows.

These issues are among those cited by would-be employers surveyed by LifeSkills, an initiative by Barclays to connect employers with young people still in education.

The research demonstrated the troubles SMEs in Yorkshire say they face in offering apprenticeships.

It showed that the top five barriers regional firms faced to offering apprenticeships and work experience included difficulty in finding suitable candidates, the likely cost to the business, red tape internally around setting up a programme, a lack of internal resource to set up and manage a programme or irrelevance to the business.

But the study also showed that SME employers had a positive view of ‘work ready’ youngsters who had completed work experience or apprenticeships: 

  • nearly three-quarters of firms regarded them as keen to learn and develop professionally 
  • 62 per cent felt youngsters were ambitious 
  • 31 per cent feel they engage with a business 
  • one in five believed youngsters were happy to contribute to the business beyond their direct role 
  • 17 per cent said young recruits had an appreciation of how a business is structured and run.

According to LifeSkills, one in eight young people close to leaving secondary school say they will look for an apprenticeship when they leave education – and would boost the economy by £1.5 billion a year if they found work.

The research surveyed HR decision makers in SMEs across the UK about their attitudes towards work experience and apprenticeships. It found that nearly 65 per cent firms would like to hire young people who have completed work experience or an apprenticeship, showing an appetite for work-ready candidates.

Kirstie Mackey, head of LifeSkills at Barclays, said: “SMEs are the UK’s life blood when it comes to offering employment, but this research shows that they still perceive barriers to on-the-job training or to help young people be work-ready. Not only does it create a skills gap that holds back a generation from realising their potential but also means a potential productivity gain of over £1.5 billion to the UK economy goes untapped.

“It’s why we launched LifeSkills, to connect young people to businesses that wish to offer work experience or apprenticeships but also to raise awareness of the need for more businesses to be able to offer such programmes. Only by working together will we find sustainable solutions to the challenge of youth employment.”

Comments (3)

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12:31pm Wed 21 May 14

sorrow&anger says...

'difficulty in finding suitable candidates'. Says it all. Yet Coun. Berry still claims that our schools are making progress despite what OFSTED thinks.

Where does this leave Coun. Green's pet project, Producer City, that quite rightly identified that most of the job growth will come from jobs requiring degree level candidates? Unless City Hall fixes the basics and stops dreaming about pie in the sky projects like the hi tech park at Buck Lane this City is going nowhere.
'difficulty in finding suitable candidates'. Says it all. Yet Coun. Berry still claims that our schools are making progress despite what OFSTED thinks. Where does this leave Coun. Green's pet project, Producer City, that quite rightly identified that most of the job growth will come from jobs requiring degree level candidates? Unless City Hall fixes the basics and stops dreaming about pie in the sky projects like the hi tech park at Buck Lane this City is going nowhere. sorrow&anger
  • Score: 10

12:54pm Wed 21 May 14

Grumpygirl says...

What to make of this? Bradford apprentices are keen to learn and ambitious. That's good; yet most of them don't engage in the business, don't want to contribute beyond their immediate role and don't have any appreciation of how the business is structured or run.

In other words, apart from doing what they're told they couldn't care less about the bigger picture. This is not a problem with the apprentices, they have simply observed, understood, and absorbed, the lesson that in Tory Britain companies are only run for the benefit of the bosses. Workers are expendable, fit only for zero hours contracts. It's no wonder the bosses are having difficulty finding the right candidates. The companies have handicapped themselves.
What to make of this? Bradford apprentices are keen to learn and ambitious. That's good; yet most of them don't engage in the business, don't want to contribute beyond their immediate role and don't have any appreciation of how the business is structured or run. In other words, apart from doing what they're told they couldn't care less about the bigger picture. This is not a problem with the apprentices, they have simply observed, understood, and absorbed, the lesson that in Tory Britain companies are only run for the benefit of the bosses. Workers are expendable, fit only for zero hours contracts. It's no wonder the bosses are having difficulty finding the right candidates. The companies have handicapped themselves. Grumpygirl
  • Score: 7

4:55pm Wed 21 May 14

BradfordD says...

Try talking to someone at the colleges about taking on an apprentice!

Its impossible - Leeds City College - Keighley are really bad - they don't care to call back .

Take on a long term unemployed and the job centre don't know their age or what you are entitled to!

Problem - the people tasked with finding the roles should be replaced with competent individuals - not the current 'jobsworths' we have
Try talking to someone at the colleges about taking on an apprentice! Its impossible - Leeds City College - Keighley are really bad - they don't care to call back . Take on a long term unemployed and the job centre don't know their age or what you are entitled to! Problem - the people tasked with finding the roles should be replaced with competent individuals - not the current 'jobsworths' we have BradfordD
  • Score: 4

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