To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2014, the government has published figures which suggest 46% of UK IT companies plan to take on apprentices within the next five years.
The study also revealed 24% of these intend to do so within the next 12 months. Tech companies quizzed also said they were in a much better position to offer an apprenticeship now than they were two years ago.
The investigation was carried out by research firm ICM by interviewing 601 recruitment decision makers last month.
“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,” claimed secretary of state for business, Vince Cable.
“Apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for most businesses large or small,” he added.
ICM also found that small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) participation in offering opportunities to young people was strong. It says 20% of SMEs plan to hire apprentices in the next 12 months, not far behind the 37% of larger companies saying the same.
“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,” Cable said.
However, these figures may not be as positive as they first seem, as last month it was reported that demand outstrips supply for IT apprenticeships.
Despite this, some businesses do seem to be making an effort to increase employment prospects, with BT announcing it will be hiring hundreds of apprentices.