This week is National Apprenticeship Week, an annual awareness event used to bring attention to the importance of alternative routes into work.

A 2017 report by the Sutton Trust found that the number of young individuals anticipating attending university had fallen to its lowest in eight years. The poll found that of 2,600 11-16 year olds, almost one in seven of them were not expecting to go on to higher education. With this in mind, an increasing number of UK businesses are choosing to support and run apprenticeship schemes.

The House of Commons reported earlier in 2018 that in the first quarter of the academic year 2017-18, over 114,000 apprenticeships enrolled on schemes; contributing to the millions already in place across the UK. The report also shows that there are, on average, over 23,000 applications for apprenticeships every single month.

Apprenticeships allow younger generations to trial working life, while still learning and continuing their personal developing. They also give employers the chance to attract and retain talent through new means. A win-win for both parties, it’s no surprise that businesses of all scales are continuing to show their support for such schemes.

Servest, the UK’s leading facilities management provider, is a people-focused organisation, particularly with regards to learning and development. UK CEO, C-J Green states:

“With over 280 individuals currently studying on our apprenticeship programmes, nurturing young talent is at the very heart of what we do at Servest. We strongly believe in promoting from within, providing opportunities for younger generations; and we invest heavily in the development, learning and progression of our colleagues throughout the business. That’s why, along with many other opportunities, we provide our Future Leaders programme; a two year fast-track process which places young individuals in the limelight, ready to take on the challenge of a senior role in the company.”

Angela Love, director at workplace specialists, Active, believes:

“In my opinion, it’d be nothing short of foolish to ignore the young talent screaming out to begin their journey into work at the moment. With percentages of young people planning to attend university slowly falling year on year, there is no question that younger generations are looking for alternative routes into work; such as apprenticeship schemes. We firmly believe in the ability and possibility to recruit fantastic, dedicated and motivated young staff members, such as apprentices. Our current marketing coordinator started as an apprentice and worked her way up through the business. Companies around the country must continue to support and actively encourage young individuals into work by whatever means possible.”

Dale Thompson, HR director at London’s premier catering company, Vacherin, states:

“We currently have 16 full-time apprentices spread across a vast array of departments throughout the business. Not every young person wants to go to university, and an increasing amount are now choosing to undertake apprenticeships instead. Offering the opportunity for young generations to experience real working life is an aspect of recruitment that I think all companies should not only support, but also actively encourage and invest time, money and efforts into. As diversity and variety within the workforce becomes ever more important for employers – workplaces must reflect this in their recruitment, workspaces, ethos and resources wherever possible.”





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.