Small Firms Wouldn’t Hire an Apprentice Candidate

The Apprentice candidates 2011More than a third of small-business owners would not hire a candidate from BBC TV series The Apprentice, a survey by IFF Research has found.

The poll of 500 small and medium-sized businesses found that 35% would view an aspiring Apprentice’s job application negatively.

Small-business owner Martin Gibbons, director at publishing firm EPC, said The Apprentice candidates were unlikely to shine in small firms, because the programme encouraged individualism, not teamwork.

“Candidates tend to be ruthless and manipulative, which are not qualities you’d want in a small team.”

Most small-business owners, he said, were looking for a willingness to learn, adaptability, team spirit and good communication skills in their new recruits.

The findings appear to reflect employers’ unease about the calibre of candidates across the job market as a whole, with one in four believing that the lack of applicants with entrepreneurial flair was a cause for concern.

The Confederation of British Industry’s chief policy director, Katja Hall, said it was important that potential recruits had the right skills, knowledge and attitude in order to succeed.

“Currently employers find that too many young people lack skills such as customer awareness and problem solving.”

Businesses themselves had a big part to play, she said, through working with schools and colleges and providing work experience placements.

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