Schools should encourage apprenticeships

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for schools to increase their engagement with small businesses, as new research shows only nine per cent of small firms have taken on an apprentice in the last 12 months.

Wash branch chairman Kevin Mothers said: “There has been so much change to the apprenticeship system over the last 30 years that small firms really don’t know how to access an apprenticeship or what they’ll get at the end of it.”

“By encouraging business engagement earlier in the schools system through careers guidance, work experience and mentoring, not only would it improve people’s opinion, but it would also mean that youngsters can make an informed choice about their career.”

Around two thirds of small firms have never had any contact with local schools or colleges. Many businesses are unsure about how to get in touch and don’t have the time to ‘cold call’ so it should be up to the school to reach out to small businesses in the local area and build sustainable partnerships with small businesses to provide this valuable knowledge.