CITB uses National Apprenticeship Week to introduce toolkits to help businesses with recruitment
This (7-12 February) is National Apprenticeship Week, and to help companies make the most of it, CITB has produced a series of online ‘toolkits’ to support construction employers who want to hire an apprentice.
These website toolkits simplify access to information and reduce the obstacles that often deter employers from looking into the process. They include advice on writing apprenticeship adverts and interviewing as well as links to additional resources on integrating Fairness, Inclusion & Respect principles into the process.
With 70% of SMEs in construction having fewer than 10 employees, making these toolkits quick and easy to use was fundamental. Each section has clear, easy-to-follow headings so employers can find what they are looking for straight away.
They detail the various routes to hiring an apprentice across England, Scotland, and Wales. From there, there’s a choice of four other sections to explore, including support available from CITB. This could be practical support, assisting employers with completing paperwork, or financial support, with a breakdown of how to claim funding for an apprentice.
National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration and promotion of apprenticeships. Now in its 15th year, the event aims to bring businesses wanting apprentices together with people looking to learn a trade through opportunities such as the stone industry’s Trailblazer* apprenticeship.
The title of this year’s Apprenticeship Week is ‘Build the Future’.
The construction sector is facing some major challenges ahead, including the need to recruit an additional 217,000 workers by 2025 to replace the ageing workforce and those who leave the industry, and meet the demand for construction work.
Apprenticeship Week places greater emphasis on apprenticeships as an important way the construction industry can secure a pipeline of future talent.
The CITB’s report Rethinking Recruitment encourages employers to consider recruiting apprentices from a wider talent pool than has perhaps traditionally been the case, increasing the diversity of the industry.
If you are thinking of employing an apprentice, you might to look at the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guidance for employers of young people and apprentices. Click here to see the relevant part of the HSE website.
* There are currently three colleges in England offering the stone industry Trailblazer apprenticeship. They all have comprehensive information on their websites and welcome questions regarding all aspects of their training, including funding. They have dedicated apprenticeship officers who will answer any questions you have, so it is useful to contact the colleges as the first part of your search.
Bath college, Somerset. www.bathcollege.ac.uk/study-with-us/apprenticeships
Building Crafts College, London. www.thebcc.ac.uk/category/stonemasonry
York college, Yorkshire. www.yorkcollege.ac.uk/study/stonemasonry-apprenticeship-level-2
Another source of useful information regarding apprenticeships is Go Construct. Its website offers information on finding an apprentice, finding an employer and provides useful links on funding.
All the information you will need regarding your eligibility for Government support with funding apprentices can be found at www.gov.uk/employing-an-apprentice/get-funding.
A company that is CITB-registered is entitled to a grant in addition to any grant aid from Government. Currently grants available include a £2,500 a year attendance grant and an additional achievement grant of £3,500 on completion of an apprenticeship.
CITB also funds up to 80% of (reasonable) accommodation and travel expenses for apprentices. You can find out about this funding at www.citb.co.uk/levy-grants-and-funding/grants-funding/apprenticeship-travel-and-accommodation-funding-travel-to-train.
If any stone company wants more information or help on training issues they can contact Claire Wallbridge, the training officer of the Natural Stone Industry Training Group, at [email protected].
Another intiative expected to roll out across the country is the Try a Trade Programme that started trialling in 16 Schools in the West Midlands in the autumn last year. The aim is to give youngsters preparing to leave school the chance to find out about and experience working in industries where apprenticeships are available to help prepare them for their working life ahead.