SECTORS INCLUDING CONSTRUCTION will soon be able to offer more flexible apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeships are at least 12 months long, so some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles, such as construction, agriculture and creative sectors including TV, film and theatre production, have found it challenging to create enough opportunities.
Announced by the Chancellor in the Budget, the proposed flexi-job apprenticeship schemes would allow apprentices to work across a range of projects and with different employers.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “No matter where in the country you are from, we want everyone to be able to get the experience and knowledge they need to get the job they want, while making sure employers have the talented workforce they need.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “We know apprenticeships work – which is why they’re a central plank of our Plan for Jobs.
“The new flexi-job scheme will create more opportunities for apprentices across England, giving them the hope, skills and experience to progress their career and drive our recovery from the pandemic.”
In July employers will be invited to bid for a share of a £7 million fund to test new flexi-apprenticeships schemes. The first approved flexi-job apprenticeships are expected to start in January 2022.
DfE will launch the flexi-job apprenticeships fund in July 2021. It will set out further details (informed by consultation responses) and invite organisations and employers to submit bids for the £7m fund across 2021-22 and 2022-23.
Skills Accelerator Programme
The consultation builds on the reforms set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper. As part of that, a new Skills Accelerator programme is being launched by the Education Secretary. It aims to build stronger partnerships between local employer groups, such as Chambers of Commerce, colleges and other providers to make sure communities are getting the training needed to meet local skills gaps.
Those interested will have access to a £65 million fund to develop and deliver plans in pilot areas in 2021-22.
The government is already offering cash incentives for employers of £3,000 for each new apprentice they take on until the end of September.
The flexi-job apprenticeship consultation is seeking views from employers, apprentices, sector bodies and existing apprenticeship training agencies. It close on 1 June 2021.