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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, says ConstructionSkills.

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

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.

Apprentices on the PLA scheme have been welcomed by smaller companies in particular, as they have already completed their college-based qualifications and are able to work on-site, 5 days a week. 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.

PLAs are a new complementary route to Traditional Apprenticeships. PLAs will allow young people to complete a full-time college based construction course before completing the practical aspects required to attain NVQ Level 2 through a continuous placement of up to 12 months with an employer, a much shorter time commitment for businesses than Traditional Apprentices.

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.

Director of ConstructionSkills Apprenticeship Max Hamps said:

“Apprentices are not only essential to the future of the construction industry but to the future of the UK economy. They can also be an invaluable asset to any company. By offering a flexible resource that can help your business grow, an apprentice could be the best investment your business ever makes.

ConstructionSkills helps take the hassle out of recruiting an apprentice, offering ongoing advisory and significant financial support to your business. 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.”

ConstructionSkills identifies the right apprentice to fit your business. 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 the employer and the apprentice through the apprenticeship, 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 www.cskills.org/apprenticeships or call 0844 844 0046.

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