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ACE News

07 NOV 2022


National survey reveals favourable experiences for those working at small and medium sized companies

Apprentices are reporting more positive experiences with small and medium sized employers (SMEs), an influential national survey of apprenticeship experiences has revealed. 

The findings form part of a new report from the Institute for Apprentices and Technical Education, setting out the learning and assessment experiences of more than 2,000 apprentices. 

More than nine out of ten (92%) ​of respondents felt the employer-defined knowledge, skills, and behaviours they are required to learn through their apprenticeship would equip them to succeed in the future, while eight out of ten (80%) said they felt empowered to have successful careers in their industry. 

Taking a closer look at experiences with SMEs, it emerged that: 

  • 75% of apprentices working in an SME said they had a manageable workload compared with 68% overall. 
  • 82% of apprentices at SMEs said they felt their employers would be willing to make adjustments to meet their individual needs, compared with 78% overall. 
  • 78% of apprentices working in an SME said their training provider was supporting their wellbeing compared to 70% overall. 
  • On induction to the apprenticeship, 90% of SME apprentices thought their employer induction was useful compared with 85% overall.
  • 64% of apprentices working in an SME were positive about how successfully their employers and training providers worked together, compared with 53% overall. 

Apprentices were also asked about the type of training they received, in the context of society opening out again from COVID 19. 81% of respondents overall said they would ideally like at least half of their training to be face-to-face (rather than online). ​60% reported receiving that much training in person.​ 

Commenting on the results, Kimberly Murphy, apprenticeship and skills manager at ACE said: “This is a great story for SMEs and proof that positive apprenticeship experiences are not exclusively reserved for large employers. The survey results clearly demonstrate that – for the right people – working for an SME can be extremely rewarding.” 

SME employers within the ACE membership base looking for support and advice are encouraged to explore the FAQ on the website