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Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people with the skills that young people need to grow and compete. They bring many benefits and competitive advantages to both apprentices and the employers that offer them. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced in June 2015 that there have been 2.2 million apprenticeships created in the UK since May 2010.

From an employer’s perspective, businesses can grow their own talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce, as well as nurturing loyalty amongst their workforce. Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around the needs of the business and the outcome is skilled workers, something all employers desire. Apprenticeship schemes are a successful mechanism to increase productivity and drive business growth.

The National Apprenticeship Service has reported that nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (96%) reports benefits to their business, with 72% of businesses reporting improved productivity. Other benefits include improved products or services, the introduction of new ideas to the organisation, improved staff morale and better staff retention, each mentioned by around two-thirds of employers.

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For the apprentice, the combination of training with practical experience (not to mention the competitive pay-packet!) offers a flexible pathway toward a professional career that is recognised and valued by employers. Apprenticeships provide an excellent entry point to young person’s chosen occupation. Household names such as Jamie Oliver, Ross Brawn and Stella McCartney all began their careers as apprentices.

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The government has committed itself to apprenticeships for the long-haul; it has pledged 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. There are a wide range of opportunities available today in both the public and private sectors, and within a number of industries. Visit the government’s Find an Apprenticeship service to search the latest vacancies and apply for an apprenticeship today.

For more information about what an apprenticeship can do for you, visit the GOV.UK Apprenticeship website.