Headlines: October 29th, 2009

Companies delivering public services are leading the way in creating new apprenticeships according to new research. YouGov, which conducted the survey, says that could be good news for the sector because more than eight out of ten people say they are more likely to use a business if it offers apprenticeships to young people.

The research, carried out on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service, asked consumers about their decisions behind buying products or services. The figures show customers are as keen to buy from a company supporting young people as from one with fair trade agreements or strong environmental credentials.

Latest government statistics show that of the young people who began apprenticeships last year, more than 13 per cent are in the public services sector. Simon Waugh, the Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “These results prove that there are definite business advantages for organisations in England, operating in the public service sector that take on apprentices as part of their workforce. In the current economic climate, businesses want to stand out from the crowd and offering apprenticeships is one way of doing this.”

As well as highlighting the benefits for business of employing an apprentice, the research shows resounding support for young job seekers. More than 90 per cent of respondents believed it was important for companies to take on apprentices during the recession. The research was carried out to launch the National Apprenticeship Service ‘Good for Business’ initiative, which aims to raise awareness of how the apprenticeship programme can benefit employers, both in the private and public sectors.