Businesses are unaware of the opportunities which come with employing apprentices, a leading business organisation has warned.
School leavers who go into training should also receive the same pay as those in regular jobs, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
A recent survey conducted by the FSB found that only five per cent of businesses polled knew financial support was available for allowing employees time off for training.
78 per cent said also more financial support from the government would encourage them to employ apprentices.
Colin Willman, FSB Education and Skills Chairman, said: "[Small businesses] are often impeded by lengthy administration and the costs of providing training. Many are not aware about wage contribution for time off to train."
Meanwhile, in Ireland this week, over 1,500 construction apprentices were made redundant due to the bleak economic position of the sector.