KBB recruitment agency, training and service provider Simon Acres Group hosted a roundtable event to examine the barriers to hiring apprentices and strategies to overcome them.
Held in partnership with apprenticeship training provider Workpays, at the Stanwick Hotel in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, it was attended by participants from leading apprenticeship bodies, training providers and KBB retailers.
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 colleague development.
The main barriers to hiring apprentices, identified during the roundtable, was a lack of information, unfamiliarity with apprenticeship standards, uncertainty around costs, lack of training awareness and confusing jargon.
It found businesses were unaccustomed with apprenticeship training providers, unaware of the channels to hiring apprentices and unfamiliar with apprenticeship standards.
The roundtable highlighted the perceived financial burden of hiring apprentices is a concern for many businesses, as is a lack of awareness of available grants.
Additionally, it found on-the-job training requirements – associated with apprenticeships – are often unclear to businesses, including the amount of time required for training apprentices, with confusing terminology and unclear abbreviations.
Simon Acres Group provides support and advice to businesses that are considering hiring an apprentice, including recommending training providers and offering information on funding, training, apprenticeship wages and grants that are available to employers.
Managing director of Simon Acres Group Limited Simon Acres 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.
“With the support of Workpays, we hope to establish a collaborative approach to bring more apprentices into our sector.
“We’re encouraging other businesses to get involved, and to work collaboratively with us to address the challenges surrounding hiring apprentices and to showcase the many benefits that apprenticeships offer, while driving positive change and growth in our industry.”