Only 2 In 5 Transport Firms Offer Apprenticeships

Only 2 In 5 Transport Firms Offer Apprenticeships

JUST 40% of SMEs in the UK transport sector currently offer apprenticeships, according to new research from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of SME owners and senior managers.

 The Business Barometer also reveals that 55% of transport firms that do take on apprentices say it gives them access to the best young talent, while a further 25% say that it allows them to develop skill sets the business may be lacking. One in 10 SMEs say that apprentices improve business productivity.

 Commenting on the figures, Managing Director of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, John Fawcett said: “Our statistics seem to suggest that while the level of transport firms offering apprenticeships is on the low side, those who do participate in this kind of scheme see some very clear benefits.

 “In order to ensure that the industry is as effective and efficient as it can possibly be, particularly in terms of operating costs, it’s important to consider whether or not your workforce is as agile as it can be and that your employees have the skills necessary to develop the business moving forward. Apprenticeships could prove an excellent way to address any skills gap you might identify within your business.”

 A 2014 report from think tank Demos estimates that Britain’s GDP would improve by  £4bn a year if apprentice numbers were increased to similar levels to that of Australia and Germany.

 “That figure from Demos demonstrates the value apprenticeships could bring to our economy. At Close Brothers we encourage the growing relationship between education and the business community and view it as imperative to developing our collective workforce in a way that sustains our ability to compete on a global level, both now and in the future.

 “That’s why our parent company, Close Brothers Group plc has launched the ‘Close Brothers SME Apprentice Programme’, which will support the cost of training apprentices for SMEs across the UK,” added Mr Fawcett.

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