Employers think apprenticeships are most suitable for young people, YouGov survey reveals

Less than three per cent of employers think an apprenticeship is most relevant to someone aged 22 or above, a YouGoV survey has revealed.

The research, commissioned by Pearson in partnership with NIACE, asked more than 1,000 businesses what they thought of the apprenticeship programme.

In contrast, 57 per cent of survey respondents said an apprenticeship was most suitable for someone aged 16 to 18.

Tess Lanning, a research fellow at the IPPR said: “Apprenticeships are principally about supporting the school to work transition.

“They are supposed to offer a combination of classroom and work-based training and to give young people the broad skills and knowledge that underpin mobility and progression in the labour market.

“Older workers do not generally require the general education that the off-the-job component is supposed to provide.”

The survey responses follow further increases in the number of new apprentices aged 25 and above.

More than 80 per cent of survey respondents said they had no plans to recruit an apprentice under the age of 25 in the next 18 months.

David Hughes, chief executive of NIACE, said: “Despite the welcome investment that Government has made in Apprenticeships, a huge number of employers remain unaware of the business benefits of taking on apprentices.

“We know that a well-run apprenticeship program helps businesses to thrive, we just need to get that message across to more employers.

“There is work here for everyone concerned.”

However, a further 40 per cent said they would hire a young apprentice if they had all the support they needed from government.

Trevor Luker, managing director of Pearson Work-Based Learning, said: “We fully support the Government’s strategy to make Apprenticeships appealing to firms of all sizes.

“We believe the best way to do this is by ensuring Apprenticeships are high-quality and rigorous programmes; giving employers the information and support they need to think Apprenticeships first when recruiting; and making it as easy as possible for an employer who’s interested in taking on an apprentice to cut through the hassle and paperwork.”