The Government has set itself the objective of increasing the quality and quantity of apprenticeships – with the goal of providing three million starts in the next five years – and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has released a consultation document on a proposed Apprenticeships Levy.
From a construction industry point of view, we already have a wealth of evidence demonstrating that apprenticeships are the way forward, and with the current shortage of skilled tradespeople it is more important than ever to remove the barriers employers face when wanting to take on an apprentice.
Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield says: “The documentation mentions the current CITB Training Levy and how it might be changed in the future. This is why we urge all our clients to make the time to take part in the consultation exercise.”
Do you want the CITB Levy to be scrapped?
With construction companies currently required to pay a Training Levy, two options for the future are being considered:
“The government’s consultation document states the CITB will consult with employers as to which option is better,” Ian Anfield explains. “However, we hope our clients will want to present their own views directly to the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills."
Hudson Contract staff have had many conversations with construction companies about the problems they face in securing funding for apprentices, including:
Ian Anfield says: “We hope the new policies will reduce these barriers and encourage more firms to take on apprentices. From our own experience, we set up the Hudson Contract Apprentice Sponsorship Scheme in 2011, when we spotted an advert in the local paper from a student who needed to find an employer as he couldn’t finish his course without one.
“Subsequently, we have gone on to support sixty apprentices in our local community, plus two more who work at Hudson Contract headquarters. The Government says its new policies will enable employers to choose and pay for the apprenticeship training they want. So all the more reason to take part in the consultation, rather than sit back and leave it to others.”
Go to consultation Deadline: 2 October 2015