Northamptonshire companies outline skills fears
Almost half of companies in Northamptonshire are concerned about a skills shortage despite a higher-than-average number of groups in the region running apprenticeship schemes, a new Grant Thornton study has found.
A poll conducted by the national chartered accountancy firm found that 39 per cent of businesses across Northamptonshire currently run an apprenticeship scheme for 18-24-year-olds, with 18 per cent considering running one in the future.
But 49 per cent of respondents said there was "insufficient talent" available to help move business forward.
Amanda Stapleton, senior tax manager at Grant Thornton’s Northamptonshire office, said: "The UK skills shortage has been identified by business leaders as a major bottleneck for future growth.
"One solution we continue to support is for businesses to take on more apprentices. It’s great to see so many Northamptonshire companies already realising the benefits that new young talent can bring, but more businesses need to be encouraged into action."
Grant Thornton’s poll also found that almost half (45 per cent) of all new jobs created by Northamptonshire companies over the next six months will be at either apprentice (25 per cent) or graduate (20 per cent) level.
Stapleton added: "As the economy continues to improve and businesses begin to create more jobs, it makes sense to groom fresh, young talent into the workforce of tomorrow rather than search for skills which may not be there.
"Recruiting apprentices undoubtedly benefits businesses by helping to create a culture of dynamism, improving productivity and encouraging growth."