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Firms are recruiting apprentices rather than graduates due to Government incentives and difficulty finding graduates with appropriate skills or degrees, according to a report by Totaljobs.com and the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). Nearly 60% of firms surveyed said they had struggled to fill vacancies and almost 30% considered apprenticeships to be crucial to addressing skills shortages. Separate research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimated apprentices would add £3.4 billion to the economy by 2022 through an increase in productivity by an average of £214 per week per business. 

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