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Apprenticeships under the spotlight: Who’s ready to step up and follow Hudson Contract’s example?

It’s been confirmed in the budget that the Apprenticeship Levy on large employers with a payroll of £3m+ will begin in April.  The idea is to fund three million new apprenticeships by 2020, with money dished out to anyone who takes on an apprentice – or delivers recognised training to existing staff – levy payer or not, through the Skills Funding Agency.

With the recently-concluded National Apprenticeship Week 2017 making a splash across the country, it’s heartening to see the emphasis on making it easier for employers to build their workforce from the ground up. 

Apprenticeships are crucial to enticing new talent into the industry because they provide the perfect environment for people to kick-start their careers.  The combination of practical guidance and on-the-job training from employers and the skills learned at college, give apprentices a solid foundation for working in the trades.  And with a lifetime of working in construction, I remain passionate about championing our industry as a great place to work.  I’m doing everything I can to make it a profession of choice for young people today.   

This is why we at Hudson Contract  are now calling on successful construction companies to ‘give something back’ and establish an Apprentice Sponsorship Scheme of their own.

As you may know, we offer financial support to local employers to enable them to take on an apprentice, paying 50% of each apprentice’s wage for the first year of their training.  The scheme really is as simple as that – and it has to be, to ensure there’s plenty of take-up in a part of Yorkshire where only a handful of construction firms have more than five employees.

Over the past five years, Hudson Contract have sponsored more than 80 apprentices – with 20 more to come over the coming year.

Will someone reading this article follow our example?  Or even think about it?  Or sponsor even a single apprentice?  If so, please get in touch and I’ll personally walk you through the steps.  Because we’d really like to see other companies follow suit to help foster the skills our industry needs, across the electrical, plumbing, building, bricklaying, joinery and other key trades.

Equally, there are many advantages for construction firms that choose to nurture young talent. Taking on apprentices provides flexibility to the existing workforce, enables you to develop new recruits to meet your specific business needs, and can also introduce new energy and fresh perspectives into the team.

The government’s increasing reliance on our industry to spearhead improvements in infrastructure will create demand for more skilled workers within the sector even when – and if – we conquer the current skills gap.  Training, including apprenticeships, will therefore continue to play an important part in increasing the number of skilled operatives in the sector.

If you’d like to talk about apprenticeships, please email me.  I promise, it’s rewarding in far more than just the financial sense:   david.jackson@hudsoncontract.co.uk

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