According to the latest Training Barometer report from In-Comm Training, apprenticeship investment has remained resilient in the face of the pandemic.
In-Comm Training’s 3rd The annual training barometer, which asked the opinion of 105 companies, found that 67 percent of companies had hired apprentices in the past 12 months, while 97 percent retained all their apprentices despite the pressure of Covid-19.
Looking ahead, 70 percent of companies commit to hiring an apprentice in the next year (up from 47 percent in 2021), with 69 percent giving employees the chance to progress to HNC or diploma level.
The optimistic outlook has been colored by the impact of the pandemic, which has led almost a third of companies to cut their training budgets. Similarly, barriers to entry into VET are still dominated by a lack of internal infrastructure and understanding of all the different apprenticeship standards currently available.
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“These results show a huge change from last year, with companies reaffirming their commitment to investing in VET, underscoring the great progress apprenticeships have made in recent years and the value management teams placed within them,” said Gareth Jones. , general manager of In-Comm Training said in a statement.
“Despite all the pressure, turmoil and constraints, the bosses felt it was vital to retain existing students and, most importantly, continue to invest in new students, as they didn’t want to be hit by a skills gap when the recovery kicked in. †
He continued: “This is no more relevant than in tech, where there is a lack of talent and the people who are there are demanding excessive wages. Growing your own is the only sustainable way to get around this situation and those who kept their nerves during the pandemic have come out better.
“If you look at the bigger picture, the main barrier to training is laying off core personnel [49 per cent] because during the downturn many of them focused on continuous improvement activities to improve processes/quality, implement automation and reduce waste.
“The second biggest challenge was finding the right direction for what the business needs (19 percent), proving that we as an industry need to make things simpler.”
The In-Comm Training Barometer also asked respondents why they invest in apprenticeships, with nearly two-thirds of respondents citing a desire to develop future talent as their primary objective. This was followed by ‘filling a skills gap’ and ‘maintaining skills within a company’, although retraining was valued by only one percent of companies.
More than half (58 percent) cited inflation as a major barrier to recruiting and retaining staff.
The latest major concern for employers is a skills drain resulting from older workers retiring. Here, 70 percent of companies are concerned about the impact on their workforce and their ability to meet the demands of their customers.