Does Brexit make bleak reading for apprenticeships?
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past three years to avoid any mention of the word Brexit (possibly my personal least favourite portmanteau of all time!). You may have heard that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union on the 29th March (which at time of writing is in ten days time). We think. Infact, we're not sure if or when Brexit will happen. Luckily, it seems the Houses of Parliament have it all under control so there's no reason to panic...
The parliamentary drama of the past week has only added to the uncertainty around the entire Brexit process, which is having a demonstrable impact upon UK businesses. Economic commentators are noting the impact Brexit is having on the UK economy, including stunted GDP growth and a fluctuating pound against the Euro. The knock on effect is felt by businesses and their potential staffing - the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) reported that 44% of employers "experienced greater difficulty in recruitment during 2018, as another 34% faced a similar challenge in retaining staff."
Following any element of Brexit makes for some bleak reading regardless of what side of the argument you are on, but is there some light at the end of the tunnel for apprenticeships?
Impact on small business
With 44% of apprenticeship starts in 2017 coming from employers with less than 50 employees, small businesses make up a large portion of overall apprenticeship numbers on programme. As well as this, apprentices are making more of an impact upon smaller business as they make up a larger portion of the workforce. Apprentices - now more than ever - allow businesses to invest into their future workforce with both new and existing staff. With recruitment of skilled professionals more challenging than ever, now is the time to invest.
Reskill your existing workforce
Common misconception - apprenticeships are only for the young. In 2017, the age cap on apprenticeships was lifted to make them an accessible (and funded) option for all. Some organisations can't take on new staff, especially with the concerns of Brexit on the horizon. Why not take the opportunity to reskill someone already in the organisation who has demonstrated aptitude elsewhere? Our Digital Marketer programme is perfect for new and existing staff members as it takes you through the journey of becoming a fully fledged Digital Marketer.
The Youth Vote
In the EU referendum, 72% of 18-24 year olds voted to 'Remain' in the European Union. European funding provides many opportunities for students to go to university - not just across Europe, but here in the United Kingdom as well. The vote to leave not only removes the freedom of movement students enjoyed but also access to this funding as well which in turn will potentially drive up competition for university places. University applications have actually decreased in recent years due to increasing tuition fees and Brexit concerns. Now is the perfect time for your organisation to focus on apprenticeships!
If you're looking for support in the apprenticeship world or some advice about how to take on apprentices with the uncertainty around Brexit, then get in touch with us for an impartial discussion with the team.