Retailers ‘want more apprenticeships’ to develop future workforce

New data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has suggested that retailers want to commit to more apprenticeships in the coming years.

In a survey of UK retailers, 86 percent indicated they would increase the number of apprenticeships they offer in the next two years.

In England, retailers are committed to increasing the number of higher and advanced apprenticeships offered in 2017/18 by more than 2.5 times compared with the previous year.

During National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (5 – 9 March) retailers are showcasing how apprenticeships work. One in five respondents (21 percent) reported difficulties recruiting for apprenticeships, particularly for the less traditional retail roles such as software engineers and food technologists.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to celebrate apprenticeships and raise awareness of the opportunities out there. In our industry alone, apprenticeship opportunities span customer facing positions, specialist digital and technical roles, support functions and there are more standards still in development.

“Almost a year after the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced these figures demonstrate the industry’s ongoing commitment to apprenticeships. But there are still issues with the levy that need to be resolved to allow the industry to do more and further flexibility is still needed.”

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