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Apprenticeships can address skill and job shortages

Apprenticeships can address skill and job shortages

Governments often use terms like “skill shortages” and “job shortages” to highlight gaps in the job market. These gaps are something you should to consider when thinking of your future career – it could mean it’s easier (or harder) for you to find work, based on the skills and qualifications you want to pursue. One of the best ways you can develop skills that are desperately in need is by doing an apprenticeship. Let’s look at how apprenticeships can address skill and job shortages.

What is the skills gap?

The “skills gap” refers to when the skills demanded by employers surpass the skills possessed by the available workforce. This often results in job vacancies that stay unfilled or people unable to find work for extended periods – which is bad for both workers and businesses in the long run.

What industries need more skilled workers?

In Australia, the 2023 Skills Priority List found that the following occupations had the highest shortages:

  • Trades and Technicians
  • Health
  • IT
  • Community and Personal Services

Many of the jobs in these areas can be obtained through apprenticeships or traineeships. The same report also found that occupations with VET as the primary pathway were also facing a shortage.

The UK Trade Skills Index 2023 found that the trades and construction industry needed more than 937,000 new recruits by 2032 in order to meet growing demand, and that construction and trade vacancies are at a record high.

In the US, apprenticeships in the IT and telecommunications sector grew by more than 300% between 2011 and 2020, while cybersecurity apprenticeships grew by 600% during the same period.

So if you’ve been thinking of jumping into an apprenticeship, it’s more than likely there are opportunities out there (and a job waiting for you at the end).

How apprenticeships can help

Here are some of the benefits of apprenticeships, and ways they can help you find and secure work.

Hands-on learning

Apprenticeships involve a blend of theoretical and practical training, allowing you to put what you learn into action right away. For employers, it means they don’t need to spend extra time waiting for other potential workers to get qualified, only to require further on-the-job training anyway.

“The experiential learning that apprentices get through hackathons and project work allows them to combine theory and practice in a way standard training doesn’t, and to continuously develop skills we need within the company.”

Rashitha Jayasekara, chief of digital manufacturing at Rolls-Royce

Develop relevant skills

Building from the above point, you’ll learn skills and knowledge that are directly relevant to your chosen profession, making you more attractive to employers. At the same time, employers are able to teach apprentices tailored skills they need to cover gaps in their workforce.

In the UK, 86% of employers believe apprenticeships helped them develop relevant skills for their organisation, while 78% said they helped to increase productivity.

Increased retention

Apprenticeships can foster a sense of loyalty and commitment amongst workers. Apprentices often stay with the company that invested in their development, reducing turnover rates and creating a more stable workforce.

Verizon, a technology and communications services provider in the US, reports that 95% of an initial cohort accepted full-time offers at the company after completing an apprenticeship program.

Find out more

If you’re keen to learn more about how apprenticeships can address skill and job shortages, or just want more info about apprenticeships, take a look at our website here.


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