Declining Investment in Apprenticeship Schemes Will Cause Long Term Damage to the UK Economy, According To Perspective

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Business in danger due to falling numbers if training programmes.

If the UK doesn't continue to invest in apprenticeship schemes, the country is going to have one of the lowest basic skill levels in Europe once the recession passes, according to Perspective, a leading authority in learning management.

With many sectors currently being hard hit by the recession, research has indicated that companies are becoming more and more reluctant to recruit apprentices and are generally cutting back on workforce development with some apprentices even being made redundant. Whilst this is a short term answer to coping with the current adverse circumstances, the long term effects of not investing in the development of young people through apprenticeships has the potential to lead to a countrywide skills shortage.

Gary Harlock, Director at Perspective, commented: "Businesses on the whole have problems associated with recruiting and retaining the right people for the job. The provision of apprenticeships provides an effective solution to developing and retaining a competent workforce as well as filling skill gaps. Apprentices across the UK not only have the potential to provide the economy with a highly skilled work force post recovery but, also have an essential part to play during the recovery."

Apprentice Training schemes equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to quickly become productive and a valuable member of the workforce which in turn enhances motivation and efficiency at work.

Experts predict that the current situation will last about two years, therefore, with the average apprenticeship taking between 2 and 3 years, if businesses stop investing in apprentices now, then at the very point where the economy is predicted to begin to recover there will not be enough skilled employees or apprentices in training, or indeed graduating to meet the UK's emerging skill needs.

To prevent this situation worsening, the Government has announced that it will increase investment for apprenticeships to more than £1 billion and is now offering credit of at least £3,000 to employers to help cover the cost of training - with the hope that by 2013 there will be a further 90,000 young people participating in apprenticeships across the UK.

Students already taking part in apprenticeship schemes are providing the economy with a highly skilled workforce according to Training Reports and, continued investment in the training of young people is vital to ensure that the UK is prepared for the post recession future.

For further information regarding Perspective please call 0121 506 9452 or visit perspective-uk.com.

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Pete Goold
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