A third of businesses view apprentices as the most valuable source of emerging talent, according to a new poll of over 2,000 senior HR professionals.
The data comes following the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April last year – an initiative designed to boost the number of young people entering vocational training.
The survey – carried out by global talent acquisition and management specialist Alexander Mann Solutions – found that graduates remain the favoured talent pool for entry-level recruits, with just under half (47%) of respondents naming university leavers as the most valuable source of emerging talent.
However, 28% of respondents admitted they were finding it difficult to fill graduate roles, with just 12% reporting that sourcing and securing the relevant skills is currently easier than it has been previously.
“As these findings suggest, leaders are certainly reassessing where they source fresh talent,” said Sandrine Miller, head of emerging talent consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions.
“UCAS reported last year that university applications have decreased by 4%. And, while there will always be demand for graduate-level talent, HR leaders are increasingly considering the benefits of developing talent in house, where the role allows, as part of a wider total workforce strategy.
“News that new apprenticeship starts have fallen by 59% since the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced is most likely indicative of how businesses are reassessing long-term needs – and taking the time they need to plan, and implement new programmes.”