Employers in England have a renewed appetite for apprenticeships and work-based learning this year.
Almost three-quarters (70 per cent) say apprenticeships will be vital to helping their business recover from the disruption caused by Covid. And 72 per cent of employers are planning to take on more apprentices over the next 12 months.
This approach is supported by the fact that two-thirds (66 per cent) of employers who embraced apprenticeships during the pandemic said it enabled them to recover more quickly.
These are some of the many positive findings from the Build The Future Apprenticeship Survey, a new report from The Open University (OU) that explores the outlook for apprenticeships in the coming months.
To discuss the findings, The OU recently ran a webinar called How apprenticeships can develop the future beyond the pandemic, in conjunction with The 5% Club. The webinar took place during National Apprenticeship Week and featured L&D experts from the OU, Balfour Beatty, Salts Healthcare and Network Rail on the panel.
Laura Burley, apprenticeships ambassador at the OU, was one of the panellists. She said the findings, which came from a survey of more than 600 employers in England in early January 2021, showed that an increasing number of employers recognise the value of apprenticeships and plan to harness them to build back this year.
She said: “The main takeaway is that there is general positivity about how apprenticeships can rebuild the future, which is really encouraging. Nine in 10 businesses that hire apprentices agree that they are enabling their organisation to proactively build their future.”
That nine in 10 figure (70 per cent) is a substantial increase of 20 percentage points from the OU’s Business Barometer report 2020, when 50 per cent of employers said work-based learning and apprenticeships would be vital to their organisation’s recovery from the pandemic.
The webinar recording is now available to view on demand.