While acceptance of tech apprenticeships in the United States is growing exponentially, the concept has had a big head start in Europe, and specifically in the United Kingdom. So, if you want a glimpse of the future as it relates to apprenticeships in America, the U.K. is a great place to start.

Some solid research on that front has just been released in the form of a study called The Open University Build the Future Apprenticeship Survey (“Build the Future” being the theme for the just-completed National Apprenticeships Week in the U.K.).

Some 600 employers across a wide variety of industries were surveyed in January of this year, and the results point to a very promising future.

The Future of Apprenticeships Looks Bright

Some highlights of how U.K. employers view apprenticeships:

  • 89% who’ve hired apprentices agree that apprenticeships help their company to proactively build its future.

  • 70% believe that apprenticeships will be vital in recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

  • 72% plan to hire more apprentices over the next year.

What about those who haven’t yet worked with an apprentice? Exactly half plan to do so in the future, but within the information and digital services sector that number jumps to 81%. In other words, tech apprenticeships will be in high demand.

There is some concern in the near term, as again about half of organizations believe that work-based learning programs such as apprenticeships represent too large a commitment in this time of lingering COVID disruption.

Apprenticeship Benefits

That negative view is not shared by companies who have actually had apprentices on board, though: nearly two-thirds of those believe that the effort has helped them to recover more quickly from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Interestingly, that sentiment is shared almost equally by small and large organizations.

Other highlights of the benefits of apprenticeships from those with experience:

  • Increased retention: 74%

  • Increased productivity: 77%

  • Transformative impact on the apprentice: 80%

  • Transformative impact on their organization: 78%

  • Engine of social mobility: 74%

Finally, nearly 70% have begun to hire those without college degrees.

All of this validates so much of our own messaging about the benefits of tech apprenticeships for employers and apprentices alike. The concept of apprenticeships has had time to grow deeper roots in the United Kingdom, and the nearly universal positive reaction bodes very well for the future of apprenticeships here in the United States.