Thirty five per cent of the 500 small and medium sized businesses who took part in the poll admitted that they would view a job application from an Apprentice candidate in a negative light.
Martin Gibbons, director and small business owner of publishing firm EPC, commented: “The Apprentice candidates are unlikely to shine in small firms, because the programme encouraged individualism, not teamwork.
“Candidates tend to be ruthless and manipulative, which are not qualities you’d want in a small team.”
Gibbons added, that most small-business owners looked for a willingness to learn, adaptability, team spirit and good communication skills in new recruits.
The survey results seem to reflect a broader uncertainty relating to the calibre of candidates currently on the job market. One in four small-business owners believe that the lack of entrepreneurial flair in applicants could become a future cause for concern.
Chief policy director at The Confederation of British Industry, commented: “Currently employers find that too many young people lack skills such as customer awareness and problem solving.”
She added, it is important that potential recruits learn the right skills, knowledge and attitude in order to succeed and businesses themselves have a big part to play in this.