Boardroom beckons for apprentices

New research shows apprenticeships are taking people to the top

17 December 2013 / Be the first to comment

New research shows that one in five (19%) employers currently have former apprentices working in senior management positions. 

The findings, released to launch the third annual City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list, highlight the commitment of employers to promoting former apprentices through the ranks. Indeed, 33%  of all employers questioned said apprentices go onto various management positions in their company.

Regionally, it is in the South West where a former apprentice’s career prospects are best, with 29% of companies in this area saying they have former apprentices working in senior management. This is followed by Yorkshire & The Humber and East Midlands, both with 26%.  

Furthermore, an apprentice’s chance of becoming a director is greatest in the construction industry, with 47% of businesses in this sector employing former apprentices in board level positions. This is followed by manufacturing & engineering (43%), agriculture (33%) and energy and power (33%).

The study was complemented by research amongst some of the companies featured in this year’s City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list. Key findings from the bosses surveyed include: 

  • 89% said that if they were starting out in their career now they would opt to do an apprenticeship
  • On average, 30% of their company’s senior management positions are filled by former apprentices
  • Over half (51%) said the average time for an apprentice to reach a management position in their firm was five years or less, this compares to 33% saying the same for non-apprentices
  • The key skills which former apprentices bring to managerial positions were cited as knowledge of the business (98%), on the job experience (95%), and industry specific skills (93%).

Speaking about the findings, Matthew Hancock, Skills and Enterprise Minister said: 'As we can see from this research, today’s apprentice could be tomorrow’s board director. Nearly every employer that takes on an apprentice (96%) reports benefits to their business and the calibre of the companies included in this year’s Top 100 list just goes to show the breadth of employers who are now embracing apprenticeships. 

Either going to university or choosing an apprenticeship needs to become the new norm for school and college leavers. These figures support this aim and show that apprentices are able to succeed in some of the biggest businesses in the UK.'

'Apprenticeships provide employers with the workforce of the future. Through Apprenticeships, employers gain the talented, skilled individuals they need boost productivity and growth,' said Chris Jones, Chief Executive of City & Guilds. 'We partner with employers of varying sizes and industries on their Apprenticeship programmes. All of them have seen the benefits apprenticeships can offer. Apprentices add value from day one not just through their skills, but through their enthusiasm and drive.'

Compiled annually, The City & Guilds Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list features businesses that entered the National Apprenticeship Awards 2013, and were selected as having displayed the highest standards of excellence in employing apprentices. 

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