Small firms could create one million extra apprenticeships if they had more support from the Government, says a new report.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) predicted a fall in the number of companies taking on an apprentice because of the cost of training.
Smaller companies were crucial to achieving the Government’s target of having three million new placements by 2020, but extra support was needed, it was argued.
“Smaller businesses are taking on more apprentices than ever before and a quarter of our members say they are considering employing an apprentice in the future,” said FSB chairman Mike Cherry.
“This presents a huge opportunity and is great news for vocational training, which has become an increasingly attractive option for young people put off by the rising cost and uncertain returns of a university degree.
“We are at a make-or-break moment. We need the Government to hit the right balance between incentives and support.
“While many small firms are committed to apprenticeships, many more continue to be worried about the time and personal commitment required.”