Simon Acres Group hosted a roundtable event, in partnership with Workpays, to examine the barriers to hiring apprentices. The roundtable was held at the Stanwick Hotel in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.
The company shared the main obstacles, discussed at the event, that hinder businesses from hiring apprentices.
Its panel included contributions from a variety of industry professionals, including participants from apprenticeship bodies, training providers and KBB retailers.
A particular focus of the event was on the challenges within both the KBB and construction industries. The event also aimed to reveal solutions and strategies that can help to overcome these barriers.
Simon Acres, managing director at Simon Acres Group, said: “Apprenticeships are a vital aspect to creating an experienced, knowledgeable and skilled KBB workforce.
“Hosting a lively and insightful roundtable on this important topic provided the opportunity to identify the challenges that prevent businesses from hiring apprentices, in addition to highlighting the ways in which these barriers can be overcome.”
The panel was also joined by guest speaker Stephen Johnson, managing director at Quooker UK and Ireland, who shared insights based on his experience of hiring young people and promoting the training and development of his colleagues at Quooker.
One of the main barriers to hiring apprentices identified during the roundtable event was a lack of information. Many businesses are unaware of the appropriate channels to explore when it comes to hiring apprentices, including being unaccustomed with apprenticeship training providers.
There is also an unfamiliarity with recognised and approved apprenticeship standards within the industry. Many businesses experience confusion due to the vast amount of apprenticeship bodies, abbreviations and unclear language that exists.
Another barrier that was identified was an uncertainty around costs. According to findings, the perceived financial burden of hiring apprentices is a concern for many businesses, as is a lack of awareness of the grants that are available and of some uncertainty surrounding apprenticeship wages.
A lack of training awareness was also mentioned at the roundtable event. Discussions suggested that on-the-job training requirements associated with apprenticeships are often unclear to businesses. This includes the amount of time required to be allocated to training apprentices.