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UK businesses could gain additional £18bn revenue from apprenticeships

Staff writer |
A new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has revealed that consumers prefer to do business with businesses employing apprentices.

The report, launched to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2015, is part of a national drive to promote the benefits of apprenticeships. Events across the country will celebrate the success of apprenticeships that have been transformed over recent years so they are more responsive to the needs of employers and learners.

The Benefits of Apprenticeships to Businesses study finds that offering apprenticeships were perceived by two-thirds of the public as contributing to society and providing opportunities for young people, with 5 million consumers more likely to make a purchase from an apprentice employer.

One in four consumers say they would go as far as even paying more for goods and services offered by companies that employ apprentices. Aggregated across key sectors in the economy, this price-premium would equate to an additional £18 billion a year in consumer spending.

National Apprenticeship Week will also see the launch of a new mentoring service for small businesses interested in taking on apprentices will be launched by small business champion Jason Holt CBE.

A quarter (25%) of consumers said that they would be more likely to pay more for goods and services offered by businesses employing apprentices, with the most popular services to pay a premium on being a plumbers’ visit, a meal or a haircut.

Consumers are prepared to pay between 1.2% and 2.0% extra as a price premium –the aggregate gain in consumer spending if these premiums are realised is £18 billion per annum.

The benefit to an employer of hiring an apprentice is the value of the economic output produced by an apprentice, plus any subsidies received, less wage and training costs. This equates to an average of £1,670 per annum for the average apprentice in England but can rise as high as £13,824 and £9,721 for team leadership and management, and business administration apprentices respectively.

Productivity gains from employing an apprentice long-term average at £214 per week, ranging from £83 in the retail sector and £114 in health, public services and care, up to £401 in construction and planning, and £414 per in engineering and manufacturing.

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