Apprenticeship schemes in Wales can be complex and are not being exploited to their full potential according to a new report from the National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee.
The Committee concluded that apprenticeships are essential for the recruitment, training, development and retention of a skilled and productive workforce in Wales, particularly in the current economic climate.
Yet from video evidence presented to the Committee, which captured the views of young people and training providers, the Committee also found that there can be significant stigma, myth and gender stereotyping surrounding apprenticeships: potential employers often view them as a cost rather than an asset, and potential apprentices may see them as cheap, disposable labour in mostly ‘oily rag’ professions.
A number of successful apprenticeship programmes were considered by the Committee during the course of its inquiry, all with a high demand for places and rewarding experiences for successful applicants. The committee believes the organisers of such schemes should be encouraged to inspire others.
The committee was also told that, particularly among small to medium-sized businesses, setting up and taking on apprentices could prove complicated and confusing, and that companies were often deterred by lack of time and resources.