A look at the National Apprenticeship Service

The National Apprenticeship Service put a spotlight on the role of the apprentice, regardless if it is for a FTSE 100 enterprise or a small business. Some recent figures from the organisation show that there has been a 41% gain in the number of workers becoming apprenticeships between November 2012 and January 2013 especially, when over 267,400 applications for apprenticeship were submitted through online forums. Apprenticeship vacancies also saw significant growth with almost 25,400 vacant positions online in the past three months.

This is an increase of 26.6% over the prior year and is a trend that is touching the way businesses are now recruiting people. The CEO of the National Apprenticeship Service, David Way, said that more employers and consumers are seeing the benefits of apprenticeships along with an increased value for high quality training whenever available. He finds it great to see such a big growth in both vacancies and applications when it comes to apprenticeship levels submitted online in just one year.

For employers, attracting new talented workers and creating a motivated and diverse workforce can be a challenge. Hiring apprentices is a way to meet that challenge. Rachael Fidler, the managing director at HTP Training, says he provides apprenticeships to a number of hotel chains and he believes that small businesses can benefit from this type of hiring practice, with apprentices being helpful for their production. He adds that some SMEs might not be able to afford marketing for vacancies, but firms like him help fill the gap.

When a robust personnel training is undertaken by a provider with cost in mind along with good quality, this can help organisations develop a good workforce. There is also the £1,500 government grant that was set up to help support costs as a company trains new apprenticeships, particularly for customer service and administration.

One particular role that HTP Training has seen a high trend for apprenticeships is professional cookery, mostly thanks to TV chefs. Chris Maher, a director of an Isle of Wight company, said that he is glad to have used these types of apprentices to grow his business, instead of hiring an experienced worker.