The Government’s education statistics show that across all sectors small businesses have taken on 22% of apprentices since new standards were introduced. In construction, small businesses account for more than 50% of new apprentices and this figure is increasing.
This is why we are so passionate about breaking down the barriers that small businesses face when taking on apprentices. In our industry it is the smaller companies that take the majority of the responsibility for training apprentices, yet they are also the ones that feel the greatest burden of bureaucracy. Small firms don’t have HR departments and training managers; those roles sit with the business owner, who is training the apprentice as well, whilst filling order books, ordering materials and delivering projects on time. But these small business owners, often former apprentices themselves, have a real passion for giving the next generation the opportunity they had.
So we at Hudson try to do our bit to help out and as the officer responsible for our award-winning apprenticeship initiative, I have spent many hundreds of hours helping companies to hire apprentices and navigate the complexities of national apprenticeship programmes. By providing financial support during the first year we aim to alleviate some of the pressures these construction firms are facing. In 2021, the tenth year of running our scheme and our 25th anniversary year we expanded our local scheme to include 25 national clients as well. Together with our transfer of apprenticeship levy, this means we have made sponsorship payments to help 63 apprentices since January.
It sounds too good to be true but I’ll take it
was the response from one of the latest firms to receive our support. It is great when you get these reactions as you know you are making a big difference to the firm and the apprentice they have committed to take on.
Given the generally poor performance of national apprenticeship programmes and the Kickstart initiative, it is so important to make it as easy as possible for small companies to take on young people and develop new trade skills for our industry.
www.constructionapprenticeships.co.uk is a resource that companies and budding apprentices can use to find out how to get started with an apprenticeship.
Communications Officer, Hudson ContractMore from this expert