Nearly one in five employers (19 per cent) currently have former apprentices working in a senior management position, according to research published this morning.
The survey also found that around a third of employers (33 per cent) have seen apprentices rise to various management positions in their company.
The findings were released as part of the third annual City and Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list.
It found that apprentices in the construction industry have the greatest chance of becoming a director, with 47 per cent of businesses in the sector employing former apprentices in board-level positions.
This is followed by manufacturing and engineering (43 per cent), agriculture (33 per cent) and energy and power (33 per cent).
More than half of employers said that the average time for an apprentice to reach a management position in their firm was five years or less.
Chris Jones, CEO and director general of City and Guilds, said that through apprenticeships, employers gain the talented, skilled individuals they need boost productivity and growth.
“We partner with employers of varying sizes and industries on their apprenticeship programmes. All of them have seen the benefits apprenticeships can offer. Apprentices add value from day one; not just through their skills, but through their enthusiasm and drive.”
Skills minister Matthew Hancock said that the research showed today’s apprentice could be tomorrow’s director.
“Either going to university or choosing an apprenticeship needs to become the new norm for school and college leavers. These figures support this aim and show that apprentices are able to succeed in some of the biggest businesses in the UK."
Ian Bond, project officer for apprenticeships at adult education body NIACE, said he was not surprised by the findings.
“An expansive apprenticeship is a great route for people to get on at work. The fact that 30 per cent of senior management positions among the City and Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers are filled by apprentices demonstrates that their unique combination of applied vocational skills and relevant underpinning knowledge is exactly what the executives of tomorrow need to succeed.”