Don't delay your apprentice recruitment plans is the message from Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, as it has over 2,000 young people in its talent pool looking for apprenticeship opportunities.

Make UK believes that many engineering and manufacturing companies might be thinking about delaying or cancelling their apprenticeship programmes in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, but the organisation's director of apprentices and technical training, Stephen Mitchell, argues that companies must look at the long-term picture and not delay taking on new apprentices.

"We completely understand that these are testing times for all employers, but apprentices are resilient and full of drive, they help to provide fresh ideas and are vital for business growth. During this time of unprecedented change, you still need to look at the future of your business, and apprentices play a key part in this.

“Even if employers are not in a position to take on apprentices immediately, we would encourage them to start the conversations now. We are constantly holding telephone interviews, and our streamlined recruitment process means employers can access applications and candidates with minimal fuss and delay.”

Despite the current lockdown, Make UK is still delivering training to its apprentice population through virtual teaching and assessments.

It recently registered a daily record figure for students using its online teaching resources, with over three quarters of its apprentice population able to continue their studies online in the first week of virtual teaching and assessments,