In my opinion, the ethical arguments for employing apprentices speak for themselves. Young talent is the lifeblood of the construction industry and it is vital that firms invest in the workforce of tomorrow.
That’s not to mention the fact that youth unemployment is at a record high, and the industry can contribute to the wider effort to avoid a ‘lost generation’.
Regardless of these views, the business case for investing in apprenticeships has rarely made more sense. The majority of firms report productivity gains from employing apprentices and they are an excellent way to inject enthusiasm and energy into your workforce. At the same time, there is a strong level of financial support for firms that employ apprentices.
Companies registered with CITB-ConstructionSkills, could be eligible for a grant of up to £9,000 to assist the training of an apprentice. In addition, employers in England could receive £1,500 from the National Apprenticeship Service. The scope and flexibility of the NAS funding is being enhanced following a recent government review. It can help to pay your apprentice’s wages, on top of any training related grants from CITB-ConstructionSkills. Obviously, there are various criteria to be fulfilled, but it’s clear that help is available to those that look for it.
This support, of course, isn’t just financial. Construction Futures can assist planning applications or tenders for new contracts by forecasting the training and apprenticeship opportunities on proposed developments. By using industry-led software, we identify realistic opportunities rather than wildly aspirational targets.
Once the work is on site, we work with local colleges to supply trainees and monitor the whole process from start to finish. It’s a partnership approach that takes complex, time consuming work out of your hands.
There’s clearly a lot of help available to construction firms delivering apprenticeships. Are you taking all of your opportunities?