More than half of young people would now consider enrolling onto an apprenticeship rather than attending university, but despite this resurgence of interest, businesses aren’t grasping the opportunity to unearth untapped STEM talent.

The STEM skills gap in the UK is no secret, but with demands for services high, and time constrained, businesses are constantly trying to find candidates that can ‘hit the ground running’. This approach is a short term fix to a wider problem. In order to foster a sustainable and well-resourced team, organisations need to invest in longer-term candidates as much as the immediate ones.

Targeting sixth form students rather than university graduates can result in businesses finding hidden enthusiastic and focused talent. Despite this, however, there’s been a reluctance from businesses to open their doors to apprenticeships due to not being sure they’ll find the right people, not understanding how they would run the scheme and having to put in place the extra support an apprentice would need.

Hiring apprentices is not a quick fix, but it will help a business curate a world-class, homegrown talent pool. It’s not just apprentices that benefit from these schemes, more experienced team members are given the opportunity to develop their management and training skills, while also being invited to step back and look at the ‘why?’ behind their processes. By recruiting apprentices businesses invest in their future and enhance the capabilities of their whole team.

Want to know how we’ve developed a successful apprenticeship programme? Take a listen to our podcast.