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Grace Hughes
Mar 29, 2023

New research from electricity firm ABB highlights the growing concern among business leaders about the impact of fluctuating energy prices on their companies. According to ABB's Electrification's Energy Insightssurvey of 2,300 leaders from small and large businesses across a range of sectors, 92% of respondents believe that price volatility still poses a threat to business performance, and 80% are worried about the security of energy supplies.

The research reveals that rising energy costs are set to act as a "catalyst" for environmental, social, and economic ripple effects throughout numerous industries, potentially impacting workforce, decarbonisation efforts, and business competitiveness. Specifically, over a third of respondents said rising energy costs had led to lower profit margins and cuts to spending over the past year, while 92% thought continuing instability in the energy market is threatening profitability and competitiveness.

However, amidst these challenges, the research also reveals that businesses are seeking solutions to mitigate the effects of high energy costs. For instance, more than a third of respondents have already or are planning to reduce the amount they are investing in technology, while a third said they expect to have to cut money from their infrastructure budgets. Additionally, around a third of respondents said that they have already increased their investment in projects to improve energy efficiency, and a further 40% said that they were looking to install on-site renewable energy generation.

But is reducing the amount invested in technology setting your business back?

Reducing investment in technology could have serious long-term effects on businesses, as technology is a key driver of growth and competitiveness in today's economy. As companies scale back their investments, they risk falling behind their competitors and losing their edge.

Digital apprenticeships are a cost-effective solution for businesses seeking to keep up with technological advancements while keeping costs low. By investing in apprenticeships focused on digital skills such as marketing, software development, and data analysis, businesses can build a skilled workforce that is up to date with the latest digital technologies without the expense of hiring experienced professionals.

In contrast to hiring a seasoned expert, investing in a digital apprentice allows businesses to train someone from scratch, moulding them to the specific needs of the company. This not only ensures that the apprentice is well-suited to the company's needs but also provides an opportunity for the apprentice to gain valuable experience and training. As they progress, apprentices can take on more responsibilities, ultimately becoming an asset to the business.

Digital apprenticeships also provide a way for businesses to future-proof their workforce, ensuring that they have the digital skills necessary to adapt to changing technologies. With the rapid pace of technological change, businesses that fail to invest in their workforce risk falling behind their competitors. Apprenticeships offer a low-cost way to bridge the skills gap, providing businesses with a cost-effective way to build and retain a skilled workforce that can keep up with the changing digital landscape. demand. This can help to ensure that businesses have access to the skills they need to remain competitive, while also helping to address wider skills gaps in the economy.

The ABB survey highlights the growing concern among business leaders about the impact of fluctuating energy prices on their companies. However, by upskilling their workforce through apprenticeships, businesses can mitigate the impacts of high energy costs and continue growth within their organisation.