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Apprenticeships key to helping businesses recover from COVID–19

By Richard Kirk


This recent period has been highly uncertain for society as a whole but we are more certain than ever about our mission to change how our culture views apprenticeships


This week we’ve announced our award of a £40,000 grant from Innovate UK’s Fast Start Competition to increase the chances of businesses employing apprentices.

This investment will help us support businesses as they emerge from the initial shock of COVID–19, as well as providing opportunities for young people who are so much at risk from the fall–out of the pandemic. Apprenticeships are good news for employers, the economy, young people and those that want to re–train from unemployment.

The companies we work with have found that apprentices are three times more likely to stay than employees joining through other routes.

Apprenticeships are now available in areas including civil engineering, IT, fintech, marketing, sales, customer service, accounting and life sciences and businesses have a crucial part to play in working with government to develop new apprenticeship pathways to meet industry needs.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnston announced that all young people in Britain would be guaranteed an apprenticeship as he warned that it was inevitable that there would be “many, many job losses”.

This is a great vision – every young person in an apprenticeship – but we shouldn’t just limit apprenticeships as a quick–fix solution to curb youth unemployment.

Countries with an apprenticeship culture, like Germany, experience the lowest levels of youth unemployment. With Ulster University Economic Policy Centre predicting that youth unemployment in NI could rise to 26% by the end of 2020, government must invest further in an apprenticeship approach.

Apprenticeships are about quality of learning, fresh thinking and innovation for both the employer and the apprentice, rather than creating huge amounts of temporary solutions which won’t equip young people with the skills and education they need to pursue a career and become the business leaders of the future.


So, if you’re a business that wants to join the apprenticeship revolution, please get in touch. This is the future.

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