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British Gas Business Case for Apprenticeships


British Gas provides gas servicing and installation products to 3.3 million customers every year. In order to meet growing customer demand the British Gas Engineering Academy recruits circa 450 apprentices per year.

British Gas calculated the business benefits of apprenticeships as:

Increased competitiveness
Without new recruits and their ideas the business would be too inward looking and unable to compete in a modern society. A high-skilled approach and efficient processes generate increased profits and add value to the customer relationship.

Higher productivity
The link between training and higher productivity is accepted within the business. Research carried out in 2001 highlighted that Apprentices on the in-house training programme are on average 25% more productive and qualify three months sooner compared to externally trained engineers.

More efficient use of new technology
Technology driven companies benefit from young people who are exposed to various forms of new technology on the apprenticeship programme. At British Gas, for example, the gas servicing engineer is linked remotely to the business with regards to the automation of his work allocation administration. From a business perspective, the continuous introduction of new technology improves work planning processes and customer relationship management. This in turn leads to a better customer service.

Higher quality of work
The calibre of apprentices and their training is reflected by the high retention and achievement (circa 95%) and this is subsequently demonstrated by the high quality of work provided to the customer.

Increased staff retention
The apprenticeship programme has high retention rates (95%). This gives British Gas a competitive advantage in a tight labour market by reducing its training and recruitment costs (annual wastage rates of ca. 5 % are very low).

Potential for career progression
Internal succession management at all levels of the organisation is crucial to the survival of the business. The supervisory element of advanced apprenticeship training provides the foundation for management roles and career progression. Over 90% of gas servicing and installation managers originally trained as apprentices. The annual succession rate is 1.5%.


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