Why Modern Apprenticeships rank highly among Scotland’s senior decision makers

Published: 5 May 2015 09:30

And why there are particular benefits to be had in the accountancy sector

APPRENTICESHIPS are growing in popularity, according to new research, in which 81 per cent of Scottish business leaders say they develop skills which can only be gained through employment.

More than a third (37 per cent) of Scotland’s senior decision makers say their company offers apprenticeships – a figure that’s higher than the UK average of 31 per cent.

Sixty-one per cent say apprenticeships offer improved career prospects, and 73 per cent believe they provide businesses with the opportunities to harness fresh talent.

More than half (52 per cent) believe apprenticeships are a faster route to a career compared to a degree – and the same percentage thought they offered a more cost-effective route into a career than university.

The study was carried out by specialist training provider Kaplan – in association with YouGov – which trains apprentices in Scotland at locations such as Edinburgh and Rosyth.

Kaplan’s head of accountancy and tax, Cassandra MacDonald, says the findings of the poll suggest that apprenticeships offer employers other attractive benefits.

"At Kaplan, we have carried out extensive research to form a clear picture of how employers see both graduates and apprentices,” she says.

"A study we carried out in 2014 found that the majority (83 per cent) of business leaders don’t feel that having a degree is, in itself, an indicator of talent. “Another study shows that under one in five businesses believe that graduates are ready for work and this is further highlighted by the fact that almost half of senior decision-makers (49 per cent) said having pupils 'job ready' after completing an apprenticeship would encourage UK businesses to offer apprenticeships."

"While getting a degree is still a valued next step (with 76 per cent of employers hiring through graduate recruitment), apprenticeships address the issue that not all candidates are born job-ready. They give businesses the chance to be fully involved in how their new employees are trained - especially once the new Trailblazer standards become live which have been designed and developed by and ether with employers. For apprentices themselves, this means being fully trained in the areas your employer wants you to be trained, and learning skills your employer wants you to master, and let’s not forget that an Apprentice may also decide to progress their studies to earn a full honours degree.

"In the accountancy sector, accountancy and tax apprenticeships provide apprentices with skills directly related to their job role, but also professional bodies AAT, ATT, CIMA, and ICAEW accredit apprenticeships with a qualification that is recognised worldwide. This, in addition to the benefits highlighted by our study, emphasises just why an apprenticeship is a route well worth considering."

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