According to the latest Owner Managed Business (OMB) Barometer findings from Bank of Cyprus UK, just 10% of OMBs currently employ one or more apprentices.
The research also revealed that the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers of £1.5k per apprentice may not be sufficient, with only 14% of respondents stating that such a grant might persuade them to hire an apprentice.
A further 8% stated that they have found the process of hiring an apprentice too costly in the past, with 15% of respondents citing a lack of financial resources and time as stumbling blocks.
Interestingly, 54% of OMBs did not think they would have enough work to keep an apprentice busy.
Apprenticeships are often hailed as a potential hiring solution for small businesses, who (because of their size) may need support with issues like recruitment and training.
Commenting on the research findings, Tony Leahy of Bank of Cyprus UK said: “The research findings merit further investigation. Whilst small businesses instinctively understand the value of apprenticeships, there may be a perception that it entails a lot of red tape.
“The workload and cost involved in creating an apprenticeship programme may therefore outweigh the benefits for firms where time and money are precious commodities.”
“In addition to financial support from government, there may be benefit in tackling this perception directly. Perhaps by tailoring the promotion of such programmes to OMBs/smaller businesses and providing them with easy access to information and resources.”