As someone who has employed and supported apprentices for more than a decade, I know first hand that apprenticeships deliver significant benefits.
According to the National Apprenticeship Service almost all employers experience at least one benefit from taking on an apprentice and most can count 8. Apprentices benefit by earning whilst working and getting hands-on experience whilst building confidence.
But apprenticeship numbers are falling - impacted by the introduction of the apprenticeship reforms in 2017 (although we did then start to see an increase in numbers) and now as a result of Covid-19. And it's not just apprenticeship starts that have been affected - retention has fallen sharply and fewer completions have taken place, impacting income for providers of apprenticeship training and also progression by apprentices on to higher levels of learning. This time of year has always been a busy period for apprenticeship providers, as they get ready for the September intake but as yet, nobody knows that that will look like.