Firms hope to boost apprentice numbers

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Two thirds of those companies which currently run apprenticeship schemes plan to give more young people in the North West an opportunity to take their first steps into the job market.

The 2014 CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey, found that firms in the region have a growing need for higher skills – with 80 per cent expecting demand to increase in the next three to five years. However, 63 per cent of companies said they were not confident they will be able to access enough highly skilled workers to meet their needs.

Sixty five per cent of firms in the North West which already run apprenticeships plan to increase them in the years ahead. But too many are still reluctant to get involved. Firms called for measures including creating programmes that are more relevant to business needs; cutting red tape; and routing Government grants directly to employers.