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£2M available to construction firms taking on a Programme Led Apprentice

Construction firms in England are missing out on up to £2m in financial support by not taking on enough apprentices.

To tackle the issue ConstructionSkills is calling on employers of all sizes to recognise construction apprentices as a vital resource, to commit to helping young people enter the industry and make sure they are not letting this money slip through their fingers.

ConstructionSkills offers up to £3,000 towards the cost of training for each Programme Led Apprentice (PLA). Despite this, and the fact that – unlike traditional apprentices – they are available to employers all year round, around 650 apprentices on the PLA scheme are still looking for employers.

The Programme Led Apprenticeships initiative, which was rolled-out in April last year, following a successful two year pilot, is enabling more companies of all sizes to offer places for apprentices. Smaller companies are particularly appreciative of PLA scheme apprentices, as they have already completed their college-based qualifications and are able to work on-site, 5 days a week.

On average, a young person on a Programme Led Apprenticeship will have completed a maximum of 2 years in college and will then need to complete 9-12 months work-based learning component with an employer to attain their NVQ Level 2.

Director of ConstructionSkills Apprenticeship Max Hamps says: “ConstructionSkills helps take the hassle out of recruiting an apprentice, and offers ongoing advisory and significant financial support to businesses. Our commitment is to finding the right apprentice to suit each construction business and with a 70% completion rate, this is borne out by our apprentices, and through the many success stories we hear every day.”

Kevin Baker, K Baker Builder, who took on a bricklaying apprentice as part of the Programme Led Apprenticeship (PLA) scheme, run through ConstructionSkills, agrees:

“Because young people on the PLA scheme have learned the basics before entering the site, they are more knowledgeable and informed on what to expect, which has been great for us. I myself trained with ConstructionSkills, so felt confident in using them for my business needs. We also received financial support towards our training costs and other expenses, and help with on-site assessments, which has been really important to us.”

Each year ConstructionSkills receives 40,000 applications from potential apprentices, selecting the best 10,000 for placements with employers. They arrange the Health and Safety Test and CSCS card so the apprentice gets qualified as part of their training. To help employers and apprentices through the process, ConstructionSkills offers ongoing mentoring and support from an Apprenticeship Officer as well as ConstructionSkills financial support of up to £3,000 for a Programme Led Apprenticeship and a grant of up to £9,400 for Traditional Apprenticeships.

For more information, please visit or call 0844 844 0046.

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and find out more about how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update

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