Home   Kent Business   County News   Article

Red tape the reason more than a quarter of companies do not take on apprentices according to research by Kent Business

09 December 2013
by Chris Price

Fears over red tape remain a major barrier to firms taking on apprentices, according to research carried out by the KM Group.

As part of Kent Business’ Kick Start Kent campaign, scores of company bosses and department heads were asked about the challenges of employing trainees.

The survey on found more than a quarter have concerns about filling out forms to obtain funding, while salary commitments also put them off the process.

Apprentice Ashley Skey undergoing training with at IPS International, the partner of Kent Business' Kick Start Kent campaign

Apprentice Ashley Skey undergoing training with IPS International, the partner of Kent Business' Kick Start Kent campaign

The same number, nearly 26%, felt a lack of time made hiring an apprentice impossible.

Despite this, some 71% of businesses surveyed said they had considered taking on an apprentice but less than half, 49%, had actually made inquiries about taking one on.

Join the Kick Start Kent campaign by emailing

To join the KM Group's Kick Start Kent campaign, email

Of those, just over a quarter said they had approached a training provider about hiring an apprentice. Less than 14% approached Kent County Council, one of the major providers in the area.

Generally businesses feel they have enough information available about apprenticeships, with 56% saying they felt they could make an informed decision.

Yet more than a quarter were not aware apprentices need to be paid the minimum wage.

More than a quarter were also unaware that funding is available to help towards the cost of training.

When asked about the positive aspects of hiring an apprentice, responses ranged from it being “altruistic and cost effective” to being “able to train up someone in specific skills that exactly match the requirements of the company”.

Yet businesses also expressed fears they might not have enough work for an apprentice and many questioned the commitment of applicants.

One respondent simply answered they were “not sure young people have the right attitude to training”.

East Kent College principal Graham Razey

East Kent College principal Graham Razey

East Kent College provides 37 apprenticeship courses at its Broadstairs campus.

Principal Graham Razey said: “The issue with red tape is really true. We need to simplify the process.

“Businesses want a one-stop shop for advice but they have so many providers. It is complicated.

“There needs to be an advice line. I might be doing myself out of some business here but looking at it from a business point of view, they need one place to go to get advice.

“We need an independent broker, who can then funnel out apprenticeships to different providers.”

Click here for more news from Kent.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Sorry, comments are not enabled for this article.

Login or register to post commentsPost Comment

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email or call 01634 227989.