Government needs to do more to help businesses of all sizes employ apprentices says leading business

Monday 19 Dec 2016

Government needs to do more to help businesses of all sizes employ apprentices says leading business group

The main barriers to businesses in London employing apprentices are because they don't have resources, know the legal requirements or are able to find those with the right skills, a new survey has found.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry made the findings in a ComRes poll after a previous survey had discovered that at the end of last year (2015) only 6% of businesses surveyed employed an apprentice.

In addition 77% of businesses surveyed in 2015 not only did not currently employ an apprentice but had never done so and did not intend to in the future.

The latest survey into the reasons behind the lack of apprentices found:

  • 35% of London businesses say that not having the financial resources to train and manage an apprentice is one of the main barriers.
  • A third (33%) said they did not have the necessary human resources available
  • Not knowing what the legal requirements are to hire an apprentice affected 23%,
  • 21% said not being able to find apprenticeship candidates with the necessary skills to fulfil their businesses' needs was a barrier
  • 16% did not know where to go to hire an apprentice

Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: "We were very concerned to note the low take up of apprentices in London as we believe they have a central role to play in closing the widening cross-sector skills gaps across the UK.

"This is why we commissioned the new research and now that we are more aware of the reasons behind business reluctance the Government needs to educate businesses of the benefits of hiring apprentices.

"Encouraging young people to engage with industries which are vital to the UK's economy, such as construction, manufacturing and freight, will enable businesses to make the most of the skills which are present in our resident workforce.

"We need to see much better collaboration between businesses and the Government as it is only by understanding the hurdles that they can be overcome."


Media contact
Katharine McGee
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  1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
  2. Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive, is available for further comment and interview.
  3. ComRes surveyed 502 London business decision makers online between 2rd and 22st November 2016, and 511 London business decision makers online between 2nd and 19th November 2015. Data was weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables are available at