As Ray Palmer suggests in his recent column, “we need to do more to nurture tomorrow’s stars”, and with the apprenticeship levy coming into effect in April 2017, this is more true than ever.

Mentoring apprentice

Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular as people look for more cost-effective, debt-free routes to gaining experience and full-time employment.

The past couple of years have seen a tremendous surge in the number of apprenticeships offered in the UK, with 509,400 courses beginning in 2015-16.

Apprentices not only fill our skills gaps; they do so in a cost-effective way, which gives businesses more freedom to nurture the next generation of talent.

Money is a clear concern for the young people concerned, too. With tuition fees at an all-time high, an increasing number are looking to apprenticeships as a way of furthering their prospects without student debt.

Apprentices come into a place of work with a new perspective and are keen to learn

For a long time now, university has been almost a natural choice for young people. While higher education is still as popular as ever, apprenticeship schemes are truly growing in popularity with scores of people preferring on-the-job learning.

The increasing number of schemes becoming available can only be good for the industry. It feels as though the UK is finally seeing the benefits of apprentices and it’s been a long time coming.

Apprentices come into a place of work with a brand-new perspective; they’re often open to new ideas and are keen to learn.

If apprenticeship schemes continue to grow at this rate, a new generation of tradespeople will be ready to step in to fill jobs belonging to a diverse range of industries.

Stuart Cavanagh, head of HR, Novus Property Solutions