Only 40 percent of businesses offer training and apprenticeships geared towards senior management.

Also, less than half of businesses (46.3%) offer apprenticeships at all career levels.

More than 80 percent of employees believe there’s less emphasis on training as they progress through their careers.

The research from the Executive Development Network (EDN) also reveals that most employees (58.5%) believe apprenticeships are only for school leavers.

The research reveals a missed opportunity by businesses across the UK to upskill their workforce in order to combat current staffing issues hitting the sector.

Many employees are also unaware of the potential to diversify their skillset quickly and easily by training via an apprenticeship scheme throughout their professional lives. 


The value of apprenticeships 

Only one-quarter of employees (25.9%) see apprenticeships as a viable training option for anyone at any stage of their career – a vital missed opportunity for those at a more senior level. 

However, 77 percent of all people surveyed by EDN said that if they were offered a job with the prospect of doing an apprenticeship to develop their skills, they would in fact take it.

This untapped potential applies to leadership teams too. While 83.3 percent of businesses believe it is important for senior-level employees to undertake continued training and development courses, less than half (40.3%) offer apprenticeships and training courses geared towards senior management. 

Also, over 80 percent of employees (81.9%) agree that there is less emphasis placed on training and development as they progress in their careers. 


How can they help with the skills shortage?

Considering businesses across many sectors continue to face ongoing staffing issues, with vacancies unfilled, and current employees feeling overworked and at times undervalued, employers would be wise to recognise the potential talent nesting within their teams already – from entry-level right up to senior management.

Also, more than a third of employees (35.1%) have always been interested in training but have not had the money available to undertake it outside of work. So, the desire for career advancement has always been there, but the resources to execute it have not. 


Jill Whittaker OBE, Managing Director of EDN, comments:

“There are huge misconceptions around apprenticeships in the UK.

“Most employees believe they are only for those leaving school, and less than half of businesses offer this flexible training option to workers at all career stages, meaning there are great swathes of employees around the country with untapped potential talent, or who think they have no means to diversify their skills while remaining with their current employer.






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.