How apprenticeships impacts the UK’s skills gap

23% of unfilled job vacancies can be put down to a skills shortage according to new figures.

The Employer Skills Survey released its’ latest report at the end of January, and found that 209,000 job vacancies out of 928,000 were not filled due to employers not being able to recruit the right candidates with the appropriate skills needed for the profession. This figure has risen 42% from a previous study conducted in 2013, where only 146,000 skills shortage vacancies were available.  In addressing this problem, The Association of Employment and Learning Providers has said that boosting apprenticeships would be key for the future.

The Government has realised that there is a national skills shortage at present and believe the apprenticeship route is a very viable option to help fill this skills gap and help employers expand their business. Therefore, they are committed to apprenticeships and have pledged to reach 3 million apprenticeship opportunities by 2020.  To support this, they are offering a grant of £1,500 to any small business taking on a young person, who has not done so already within the last year.

Although it is true the skills shortage in the UK is becoming an increasing issue in many industries, apprentices receiving on-the-job training are valued staff members with training tailored specifically to the company.  This leads them to develop the right skills to meet the requirements of the business, offering a solution to succession planning, company growth and future skills development.

A study by Close Brothers indicates that a third of employers believe their workforce does not have the skills required for the business and well over half believe that due to the skills shortage, they will not be able to find suitable recruits.

Many employers are yet to realise the benefits to having an apprentice, with only 1 in 20 businesses considering taking on apprentices when looking to recruit new staff.  Apprenticeships provide a cost-effective, low risk way to grow your business.

Many young people, when leaving school and considering their options, are opting for the apprenticeship route as they see the benefits of pursuing this over university.

Aspire Training Team offers bespoke apprenticeships in Childcare, Health and Social Care and Business Administration, where we match the young person to the employer. Our apprentices access their training by working through online modules and have support of their assessor, who also visits them regularly in the work place, opposed to spending a day out of the workplace at College.


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