A new manual, co-authored by industry and government, has today been published to set out how flexibilities in apprenticeships can be used and delivered in construction – to meet the needs of employers and apprentices.

Apprenticeships have been on a transformational journey since 2012, with reforms such as the introduction of employer led standards leading the way in ensuring apprenticeships are relevant, high quality, and meet the skills needs of employers. In 2020, the Prime Minister committed to building on this success, and making apprenticeships more flexible, to better meet the needs of employers and apprentices.

The ‘Flexible Apprenticeships in Construction’ manual sets out:

  • how the delivery of apprenticeship training can be flexed to meet employer needs; and
  • how the length of an apprenticeship can be reduced where an individual has existing relevant knowledge or skills.

Some employers are already making use of apprenticeship flexibilities and are seeing the benefits of this, in workforce satisfaction, productivity, and improved value for money.

George Swann, FIS Skills and Training Lead said “This manual fully explains and gives examples of how off-the-job training can be flexed to meet individual employer needs. It includes information and case studies about: Flexible training models, options for delivering off-the-job training, including front-loading blocks of training at the beginning of an apprenticeship. Accelerated apprenticeships, approaches to adjusting the content and duration of apprenticeship training plans through recognition of prior learning.

Any delivery process will be restricted by what the Universities, Colleges or Independent Training Providers can or are willing to deliver.  Employers must contact and negotiate with the Training Providers to get the best deal in a format that suits the individual apprentices and your organisations needs.  Use this manual to bust the jargon and ensure you know what the training provider is offering and remember to confirm your employer responsibilities to the apprenticeship training programme and what you can expect from the training provider and don’t forget to fully brief your apprentice.”

Employers should think creatively about how they can tailor apprenticeship training to meet their needs. Be it through a flexible delivery model, such as front loading which can support apprentices new to the sector to hit the ground running, to delivering accelerated apprenticeships for more experienced individuals who are able to build on their existing skills and complete more quickly.

The manual can be downloaded here or you can visit www.gov.uk/employ-an-apprentice for more information.

Employer incentives payments, in place until September 2021, mean there is £3000 available for every apprentice hired.