A quarter (24 percent) of England’s IT and telecoms firms plan to take on apprentices in the next 12 months, according to research published during this week's National Apprenticeship Week.
In addition, nearly half of IT and telecoms companies plan to take on apprentices over the next five years.
BT recently announced it would take on 730 more apprentices over the next year, and Virgin Media has also recently pledged to take on more.
A study of 600 businesses across all industries, commissioned by the National Apprenticeship Service, shows 44 percent of employers plan to take on apprentices over the next five years.
More than a third (37 percent) of larger businesses across all industries plan to take on one or more apprentices in the next 12 months, and one fifth (20 percent) of SMEs plan to do the same.
Around a third (32 percent) of all companies that plan to take on apprentices say they are doing so because aprentices are a "core part of their growth strategy".
Business, innovation and skills minister Vince Cable said: "It’s good to see that employers are increasingly recognising the value apprentices can bring to their businesses.
"Apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for most businesses large or small."
Of the IT and telecoms firms questioned, 46 percent said they were more likely to hire apprenticeships now than they would have done two years ago.
In addition, it would appear apprenticeships are now filtering into supply chain selection criteria, with a fifth (19 percent) of IT and telecoms firms saying they had been questioned by clients or prospects about their apprentice recruitment policies.
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