‘Catch 22’ Situation Preventing Business Owners From Hiring Apprentices

16% of businesses try to avoid hiring anyone under the age of 21 due to problems they encountered when they previously hired young staff

‘Catch 22’ Situation Preventing Business Owners From Hiring Apprentices

UK small businesses owners are caught in a catch 22 situation when it comes to hiring young staff, as 40% say a lack of experience puts them off recruiting young applicants.

According to a report by Direct Line for Business, businesses are hesitant to employ someone with little experience, while young jobseekers are finding it hard to gain such experience as businesses won’t hire them.

Other reasons why small firms are reluctant to take on younger workers include a fear they will leave after a short period of time (24%) and that the cost of training them is prohibitive (21%).

It appears this hesitation may somewhat influcned by previous experiences, as 16% of respondents try to avoid hiring anyone below 21 due to problems they encountered when they previously hired young staff.

There is currently 88,000 fewer 18-21 year olds in employment than there was five years go, marking a fall of 11% from 787,000 in 2012 to 699,000 in 2016.

Gary Holmes, product manager, at Direct Line for Business, said:

“Small businesses represent the vast majority of UK businesses and are therefore the biggest opportunity for young people starting their careers, helping them to gain valuable experience.

“While the number of people aged between 18 and 21 in employment in the UK may be falling, it’s still refreshing to know that the trade industry is bucking the trend by continuing to give young people and apprentices an opportunity to forge a career.”

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