The government is being urged to do more to encourage businesses to take on apprentices.
A poll for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) found that 77 per cent of businesses do not currently employ an apprentice, never had and did not intend to in the future.
Six per cent of the more than 500 London businesses quizzed employed one.
Some 35 per cent of businesses surveyed said they did not have the financial resources to train and manage an apprentice, naming it as one of the main barriers.
Meanwhile, 33 per cent said they did not have the necessary human resources; 23 per cent were not aware of the legal requirements needed; 21 per cent said they could not find the necessary skills; and 16 per cent said they did not know where to hire an apprentice.
Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of LCCI, said the government “needs to educate businesses of the benefits of hiring apprentices”.
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“Encouraging young people to engage with industries which are vital to the UK’s economy, such as construction, manufacturing and freight, will enable businesses to make the most of the skills which are present in our resident workforce,” he said.
“We need to see much better collaboration between businesses and the government as it is only by understanding the hurdles that they can be overcome.”