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Most employers would pay apprentices extra

The vast majority of employers are willing to pay apprentices more than the statutory rate, according to new research.

A survey by apprentice provider Positive Outcomes has found that 92% of employers are willing to pay more than the typical apprenticeship wage - as long as they're matched with the right candidate.

However, 88% of young adults polled earlier this year told Positive Outcomes that they were "put off" apprenticeships because wages were too low. The findings suggest that many would-be apprentices are unaware of the potential rewards for doing an apprenticeship.

This latest study also surveyed employers about the wages they would be prepared to pay a qualified apprentice. The results showed that 60% of post-apprenticeship employers would pay between £12,000 and £18,000 as a starting salary for an apprenticeship-qualified employee.

Most apprenticeships lead to jobs, according to the findings, with 76% of employers saying they have offered their successful apprentices a full-time position. The study also shows that 93% of employers would opt to take on somebody who has completed a three-year apprenticeship over somebody who has spent three years studying.

Kelly Ball, Managing Director of Positive Outcomes, said: 

"The survey shows that apprenticeships can be a great way of securing a full-time position, with more than three-quarters of employers hiring former apprentices to a permanent job. Also, candidates that have completed apprenticeships with a company are in a position to earn a starting salary significantly higher than the minimum wage."
This month, the Government confirmed that it is to go ahead with the Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017. "With the levy covering much of the cost of training young apprentices, we're hoping to see an increasingly diverse portfolio of apprenticeships on offer," said Ball.

Firms with an annual wage bill of under £3 million will not have to contribute to the levy. The Government is expected to cover 90% of the costs of an apprenticeship, Ball said.

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