According to the National Apprenticeship Service, employers who take on apprentices can benefit by gaining talented new recruits who are eager and motivated, while saving money on training and recruitment costs.
In 2010/11 there was a 64% increase in the take-up of apprenticeships compared with the previous year. However, critics said that too much of the Government funding available for apprenticeship schemes was being targeted at existing employees rather than unemployed young people looking to get onto the career ladder.
At the end of last year, the Government announced it would be introducing a series of reforms to strengthen apprenticeships, such as monitoring employers who run apprenticeship schemes to make sure they include a rigorous amount of "job-relevant" training.
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