Business briefs: Apprenticeships | Maplin | EEF

RISING numbers of British businesses plan to take on apprentices in the next few years, research has suggested.

It indicates that nearly half of firms – 44 per cent – say they plan to offer apprenticeships by 2019. Last year, just over a third – 36 per cent – said they had plans to take on apprentices.

The survey of around 600 businesses was commissioned to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week.

Firms in City take on extra workers

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The number of jobs created in the City of London increased by 25 per cent last month compared with a year ago, a new study has found.

Recruitment firm Astbury Marsden said there were 3,220 new posts in February, continuing a trend of recent months. A spokesman said: “The confident mood is underlined by the fact that the banks have shrugged off recent emerging market wobbles.”

Electronics retailer Maplin up for sale

High street electronics retailer Maplin has been put up for sale with a potential price tag of up to £500 million, according to reports.

Its owner, Montagu Private Equity, is understood to have hired accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to lead the sales process, which comes after a number of potential bidders have approached the buyout firm to snap up the 214-strong chain.

More firms shifting work back to the UK

One in six firms has brought work back to the UK from overseas in the past three years in a trend towards “re-shoring” production, according to a study.

The EEF manufacturers’ organisation said a poll of 271 firms showed that most work was being brought back from China and Eastern Europe. Among the key reasons were quality and logistics costs.