Apprenticeships forecast to contribute £3.4bn to the economy by 2022

Apprenticeship completions over the next decade are forecast to contribute £3.4 billion a year to the economy through productivity gains by 2022. That’s according to a new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) released today to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2013.

The report, Productivity Matters: The impact of Apprenticeships on the UK economy, presents Cebr’s analysis of the contribution of Apprenticeships to the economy, examining current trends and future developments and exploring the productivity impact of Apprenticeships. Key findings include:

• The potential for Apprenticeships to contribute more to the economy is significant. Based on Cebr’s forecasts, between 2012-13 and 2021-22, 3.8 million people will complete an Apprenticeship. It is estimated this would contribute £3.4 billion to the UK economy a year in productivity gains by 2022

• Apprenticeships are boosting productivity by enabling businesses to grow their skills base. The average Apprenticeship completer increases business productivity by £214 per week leading to increased profits, lower prices, better products and higher wages.

• Productivity gains from former apprentices vary according to industry sector. The engineering and manufacturing sectors see the greatest gains (£414 per week) followed by construction and planning (£401) and business, administration & legal (£268).

• The number of annual Apprenticeship completions is forecast to rise across all sectors of the economy over the coming decade, growing from an annual 260,000 in 2012/13 to 480,000 by 2021/22.

• According to the Cebr’s predictions, the annual number of Apprenticeship completions in the business, administration & law sector is forecast to rise from 74,000 in 2012/13 to 121,000 by 2021/22. By 2021/22, it is predicted there will be 65,000 completions in the construction & planning sector, compared to 27,000 in 2012/13. It is forecast that there will be 81,000 completions in the engineering & manufacturing sector by 2021/22, compared to 38,000 in 2012/13.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of our drive to provide employers with people who have the skills needed for their businesses to prosper and compete, often in a global market.

“Apprentices are vital to Great British business – from mechanical engineering and business administration to dental nursing and physiotherapy.

“We are making it as simple and rewarding as possible to take on apprentices.”

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, said: “This research confirms the economic importance of Apprenticeships and sends a clear message that they deliver for employers, individuals and the economy.

“I hope that during National Apprenticeship Week more employers up and down the country will look to increase their skillset and productivity by taking on an apprentice.”