This compares to just three in ten employers when asked the same question in 2013, a ten per cent increase.
The ICM study also revealed that 20 per cent of SMEs plan on taking on one or more apprentices in the next 12 months, with more than one third of larger businesses planning to do the same.
Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said: “As we kick off National Apprenticeship Week it’s good to see that employers are increasingly recognising the value apprentices can bring to their businesses. Apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for most businesses large or small – and the huge increase which this government has overseen is one of my proudest achievements.
“Given the grants available to help small businesses take on apprentices, it’s especially good that so many SMEs are embracing apprenticeships in the coming years and that apprentice recruitment now forms a key part of a business’s plans for sustainable growth.”
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