Apprenticeships are crucial to the survival of the nation’s firms, said Lewes District Council, which set up the Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Platform (LEAP), in partnership with public, private and voluntary organisations.
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 99.9 per cent of private businesses in East Sussex, the council said.
These businesses play a key role in the health of the local economy, creating employment and training opportunities.
District councillor Phil Howson said: “A recent poll has identified that 74 per cent of senior decision-makers at SMEs across the UK believe that apprentices are necessary for the future success of their business.
“In addition, 42 per cent acknowledged that SMEs need to do more to create opportunities for apprentices within their businesses.”
The new poll, produced by YouGov, shows just 12 per cent of SMEs have an apprenticeship scheme, with a further 23 per cent considering launching one in the future.
Cllr Howson said the council recognised businesses needed the support of a referral service to make it easier to recruit apprentices.
He added: “We are delighted that our LEAP programme has now helped create in excess of 50 apprenticeship vacancies for local young people, helping create sustainable economic growth within the Lewes District area. I would urge any businesses thinking of recruiting to get in contact with our excellent LEAP team to see if an apprentice could help achieve your goals.”
Contact the LEAP team on 0300 330 1450 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org