Small firms “missing out” by not taking on apprentices.

Small businesses are missing out on the benefits of apprenticeships, a new report has suggested.

According to a survey from Barclays, small firms with a turnover of less than £5 million are lagging behind their larger counterparts when it comes to creating apprenticeships.

Just 19 per cent of small companies are likely to take on an apprentice, compared with an average of 41 per cent among businesses of every other size.

The poll also found that only 12 per cent of the smallest firms are planning to increase the amount of apprentices they recruit this year, compared with 19 per cent of all other company sizes.

A recent report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that firms with apprentices usually gain a £241 per week productivity boost.

Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said, “It’s encouraging to see that many companies are planning  to take on more apprentices in 2013, but with small business accounting for around half of the UK’s GDP it is really important that they do not miss out on the benefits that apprentices bring to organisations of all sizes.”

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