Apprenticeships in England have been transformed over the last 5 years. For young people apprenticeships represent an excellent opportunity to build a valuable and fulfilling career. For employers they provide an excellent means of increasing the productivity of new entrants and the existing workforce, essential requirements if businesses are to compete in the global economy.
The number of apprentices has risen to 250,000 in 2007 and the achievement rate for apprenticeships now stands at 60%, bearing comparison with other European countries. Last year over 98,000 apprentices completed their apprenticeship and took their place in the workforce.
Research carried out by leading employers on behalf of the Apprenticeship Task Force has shown that apprentices are up to 14% more productive than other comparable employees who have not completed an apprenticeship.