A new flexi-job apprenticeship scheme approach was announced by the Chancellor in the last Budget.  It is proposed that schemes will build on the existing Apprenticeship Training Agency model, to allow employers to join forces and access funding to create new or expand existing schemes to boost the use of apprenticeships in sectors with non-traditional employment patterns, including construction.

There is a growing appreciation that Apprenticeships are more important than ever in equipping individuals and businesses with the skills they need as we build back better from the coronavirus outbreak.  As part of this Government want to make sure apprenticeships reflect modern models of employment for all employers in all sectors.  One concept is developing portable apprenticeships, putting apprentices in the driving seat and enabling them to move with relative ease between employers in industries where short-term contracts are the norm. T his consultation asks you to consider how flexi-job apprenticeship schemes can support the growth of apprenticeships in sectors where short-term and project-based contracts are the norm.

The Department for Education (DfE) will launch the flexi-job apprenticeships fund in July 2021 with employers set to be invited to bid for a share of a £7 million fund to create and test new flexi-apprenticeships schemes, with the first approved flexi-job apprenticeships expected to start in January 2022.

As well as responding directly FIS is encouraging members to feed their views in so we can give consideration to the potential to explore early adoption within our supply chain.  Please forward your thoughts to iainmcilwee@thefis.org.

Full details of the proposals and how to respond to the consultation are available here Flexi-Job Apprenticeships: Reshaping the role of Apprenticeship Training Agencies.

Responding to the Consultation

The DfE online consultation survey will close on 1 June 2021.  Responses to FIS should be submitted by 27th May to allow time to build a sectoral response.

Key questions from the consultation, please send copies of your response to iainmcilwee@thefis.org:

Question 1: Do you agree with our vision for flexi-job apprenticeship schemes?
Question 2: How should flexi-job apprenticeships demonstrate that they are meeting the needs of employers?
Question 3: What expectations should we set of flexi-job apprenticeship schemes in providing a high quality experience for apprentices?
Question 4: What challenges and opportunities are relevant to flexi-job apprenticeship schemes achieving financial sustainability? How might they balance a fee-based model with other income streams?
Question 5: Does the name flexi-job apprenticeship scheme accurately describe our vision for these organisations and they role they will play? Would you propose any alternative names?
Question 6: Do you have any views on our proposals for portable apprenticeships, including on how portable apprenticeships and flexi-job apprenticeships schemes can complement each other?
Question 7: Do you agree that we should create a register of approved flexi-job apprenticeship schemes?
Question 8: What entry criteria do you think we should establish for admission to this register in order to ensure that approved flexi-job apprenticeship schemes meet our vision set out in section 2?
Question 9: How do you think the performance and quality of approved flexi-job apprenticeship schemes should be monitored and assured after admission to the register?
Question 10: To assure the quality of flexi-job apprenticeship schemes, should schemes entry to the register set out the standards they can offer to apprentices? What process should we develop to enable schemes to change the standards they offer?
Question 11: Do you have any concerns about the closure and withdrawal of the dormant register of ATAs?

More information on Apprenticeships in the finishes and interiors sector

Visit the FIS Skills Hub here
Are you currently or thinking of employing an Apprentice, we have set up an Apprentice Employers Group to support uptake of the new Interior Systems Installer Apprenticeship and the next meeting is set for the 19th May – you can reserve your place here.