Apprentices boosted North West business by £279 million last year

Apprentices delivered £279.2 million of net economic benefits to organisations in the North West in 2012/ 2013.

Individual organisations in the region saw a bottom line boost of around £1,941 per apprentice.

Businesses report benefits while apprentices are still in training.

But research highlights a lack of awareness of the Government’s apprenticeship offer and its benefits means many businesses are currently missing out.

Businesses urged to consider apprentices when hiring, while Government called on to make companies more aware of apprenticeship scheme.

Apprentices delivered around £1.8 billion of net economic benefits to UK organisations (£279m in the North West) last year according to the latest research from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the UK’s leading qualification and membership body for accounting staff.  The report compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) found that apprentices offer UK businesses a significant return on their investment, with economic output often exceeding average wage and training costs.

The research report The Value of Apprentices presents a compelling case for organisations to take on even one apprentice: every time they do they receive, on average, a bottom-line boost of around £2,000 once wage and training costs have been factored in.

The benefit to employers is worked out as employer gain = apprentice output + apprentice subsidies – apprentice wages – apprentice training costs.

Crucially, the research highlights that businesses don’t have to wait in order to realise the financial gain of hiring an apprentice, with many companies enjoying economic benefits while their apprentice is still in training. Once the apprentice is fully qualified employers can expect to see further productivity improvements while apprentices can expect to benefit from increased earnings potential.

The latest findings are validated by recent research from The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (August 2013), in which high percentages of employers reported numerous benefits from hiring apprentices, including improved product and service quality (72 per cent), enhanced productivity (68 per cent) and even increased morale and organisational reputation.

However, despite these encouraging findings, the research also highlights that a lack of awareness of the Government’s apprenticeship offer and its benefits, particularly amongst smaller companies, means that many organisations are currently missing out.  Around 60 per cent of small businesses surveyed as part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ August 2013 research were found to be lacking a basic knowledge of the Government’s programme and the support available such as subsidies and expert advice.

We’re joined by Clare Morley from the AAT for more…

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