New research released to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week has found that businesses value the right staff as the most important factor for success.
Almost 4,000 employees were interviewed for the Skills Funding Agency, with 42% of managers saying that hiring the right staff was the most important factor in realising the company's ambitions. They considered it more important than access to finance.
Among apprentice line managers, 25% believed their firm would expand rapidly compared with 6% of those line managers without apprentices.
National Apprenticeship Week will launch today with an event at London's Shard at which firms will commit to apprenticeships, including Starbucks, Prezzo, Fortnum and Mason, Deloitte and Greene King.
Pub giant Greene King will reveal plans to take on 10,000 apprenticeships over the next three years. Last year it pledged to hire 2,000 apprentices by March 2016, a target it has exceeded.
Chief executive Rooney Anand said: "We are thrilled to have exceeded our 2015 apprenticeship target. The fact that we are now aiming to hit an even higher target of 10,000 is a reflection that as a leader within the UK's hospitality industry, we believe we have a responsibility to support young people by creating these opportunities to earn and learn."