Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are embracing apprenticeships, according to the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
In a new survey by the AAT, nine out of 10 SMEs said they had boosted their businesses productivity. The average number of apprentices taken on by these businesses in the past two years is three, with one in five saying that they had taken on five or more.
The study, commissioned to tie in with National Apprenticeship Week, which starts tomorrow, shows that 97 per cent of those who have taken on an apprentice said that doing so had been good value for money, while four in five said that apprentices had added value to their business within six months of taking them on.
'Small businesses hugley endorse apprentices'
Rob Alder, head of business development at AAT, said despite some negative comments on the impact of the government’s apprenticeships reforms, their research showed that there were still many positives reflected in the SME market.
“Our research shows that England’s small businesses hugely endorse apprentices within their own firms and value the benefits apprentices can bring to them,” he added. “Those who have taken on apprentices are happy with them – and even those who haven’t yet taken any on are making plans to do so.
“However, the fact that there are some who still feel that there are barriers to them taking on apprentices, and who are having problems with costs and understanding the system, shows that more still needs to be done to raise awareness and help smaller businesses especially.”