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Boardroom beckons for apprentices

The findings, from research company ICM, have been released to launch the third annual City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, highlight the commitment of employers to promoting former apprentices through the ranks.  Indeed, 33% of all employers questioned said apprentices go onto various management positions in their company.

Regionally, it is in the South West where a former apprentice’s career prospects are best, with 29% of companies in this area saying they have former apprentices working in senior management.  This is followed by Yorkshire & The Humber and East Midlands, both with 26%.

Furthermore an apprentice’s chance of becoming a director is greatest in the construction industry, with 47% of businesses in this sector employing former apprentices in Board level positions.  This is followed by manufacturing & engineering (43%), agriculture (33%) and energy and power (33%).

The study was complemented by research amongst some of the companies featured in this year’s City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. Key findings from the bosses surveyed include:

• 89% said that if they were starting out in their career now they would opt to do an Apprenticeship

• On average, 30% of their company’s senior management positions are filled by former apprentices

• Over half (51%) said the average time for an apprentice to reach a management position in their         firm was five years or less, this compares to 33% saying the same for non-apprentices

• The key skills which former apprentices bring to managerial positions were cited as knowledge of        the business (98%), on the job experience (95%), and industry specific skills (93%).

City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer, Damian Brown, of BT explains why so many former apprentices make the move into management, “Through learning on the job, apprentices develop skills which are directly relevant to how our business works.  They know the organisation inside out, which brings huge benefits when making business decisions and managing people. This is why so many employers, including BT have entrusted senior management positions to former apprentices.”

Matthew Hancock, Skills and Enterprise Minister, said, "As we can see from this research, today’s apprentice could be tomorrow’s board director. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (96%) reports benefits to their business and the calibre of the companies included in this year’s Top 100 list just goes to show the breadth of employers who are now embracing Apprenticeships.

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."

Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City and Guilds, added, “Apprenticeships provide employers with the workforce of the future. Through Apprenticeships, employers gain the talented, skilled individuals they need to 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.”

Compiled annually, The City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list features businesses that entered the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013, and were selected as having displayed the highest standards of excellence in employing apprentices.  Being included in the list is a real achievement, providing recognition to those organisations that have gone the extra mile to help their apprentices succeed and who are an inspiration for other businesses to follow.

Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate, Advanced and Higher (degree) level, covering more than 170 industries and 1500 job roles, from advertising to youth work via environmental engineering and nuclear decommissioning. The National Apprenticeship Service supports employers and has made it easier than ever to employ an apprentice withdedicated employer teams, including SME specialists, on hand to guide employers through the simple three-step process to hiring an apprentice. 

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