A recent report in Warwickshire, which was submitted to the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Children, Young People and Families, has illustrated a successful reduction in the number of NEETs — those not in education, employment or training — among young people aged between 16 and 19. In 2005-2006, the NEET figure for all 16 to 19 year olds in Warwickshire was 6.7%. However, by the academic year 2012-2013 the number had come down to 3.6%. This is a very encouraging improvement in the outcomes for school leavers, ensuring that they are either engaged in employment or other meaningful activities which can help prepare them for the world of work. Despite these encouraging figures for the county of Warwickshire, the issue of high youth unemployment has not gone away. With recent figures for youth unemployment at all time highs, it should remain a concern for employers that the next generation is not being fully engaged in order to be ready to take up the reins when older staff retire. While resource costs are among the highest costs businesses have to cope with, there is another way to prepare the next generation of employees for your business. Apprenticeships are a cost-efficient and effective way to bring in new talent and train them in the skills you need for your business. Often one of the concerns that employers have when taking on new young employees is that they don’t have the skills that they need to make them immediately useful and productive. So an apprenticeship is the ideal way to get them up to speed and competent in the skills and abilities they need to perform their jobs. An added benefit is the fresh blood, new pairs of eyes and enthusiasm that new employees can bring to the workplace. If you need to review your future resource planning and are considering taking on an apprentice, then speak to your local marketing recruitment agencies in Warwickshire. You will also need to engage with a training provider to deliver the training and assessment element of the apprenticeship framework if you do not have these professionals in-house. Alternatively, you can contact the council for advice. It is already working with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership to help ensure that businesses generate a good enough range of employment and training opportunities for the young people entering the labour market. Remember that marketing recruitment agencies in Warwickshire might already have young people on their books that have registered interest in getting an apprenticeship, so your talent pool may be ready and waiting.