Why apprenticeships are worth investing in – and how we can help

Peter Francis 11 January 2018

In 2015 the Government announced plans to reach three million apprenticeships by 2020 and this year it launched the new apprenticeship levy. The aim of the levy is to give employers more ownership of their apprenticeship training and to develop new, improved apprenticeship standards that are better suited to meet specific employer training needs.

How does the apprenticeship levy work?

The apprenticeship levy requires all employers to pay 0.5% of any wage bill over £3 million into the government’s new apprenticeship service. The funds will be used to pay for apprenticeship course fees and if you pay the apprenticeship levy, you’ll be able access the funds you’ve paid in through a new digital account. The government tops your fund by an additional 10% and you can find full details by clicking here.

 Tackling the skills shortage in the construction industry

Did you know the construction skills shortage has now overtaken planning and regulation as the second biggest problem facing the growing UK construction industry? In the third quarter of last year 62% of employers reported recruitment problems.

It’s vital we tackle this shortage and construction-based apprenticeships do this in a number of ways:

  • Young people can learn while they earn;
  • Young people get a head start in their chosen field and learn job specific skills;
  • Apprentices gain qualifications;
  • Apprenticeships provide skilled workers for the future.

 Supporting apprenticeships at Fusion21

At Fusion21 we’re committed to tackling unemployment and supporting skills-training within the construction industry. Our approach is to facilitate training opportunities for local people whilst also supporting job creation, including apprenticeships. To date, we’ve created 485 new apprenticeships and helped support and sustain a further 379.

Investing in apprentices

At Fusion21 there are several ways in which we support the creation of apprenticeships:

  • We write social value clauses into our procurement frameworks, benefiting local communities whilst ensuring our members gain much more than just significant efficiency savings on procurement spend. Although commitments vary for each framework, the majority focus on delivering apprenticeships, training and employment opportunities;
  • We support social value through planning by helping local authorities and developers secure apprenticeships, training and employment opportunities that are directly linked to public planning processes;
  • We support organisations to offer apprenticeships with our social value through consultancy offer – which sees us support public bodies or private developers to design and deliver solutions that create lasting social outcomes.

Fusion21 and apprentices at work

Daventry District Council is using our social value through planning approach to help meet apprenticeship and training targets on Daventry’s 1000 unit Monksmoor Park housing development.

Local apprentice 17-year-old Sam Barrett is working on the new-build development site and has benefited greatly from his experience.

Sam said: “Right now I’m getting a taster of the plumbing trade, and closely watching my team – as well as helping them out. I’m already starting to get a better understanding of my college work, thanks to seeing it first hand on site. I have even been provided with an initial toolkit and tool allowance.

“My dad was a plumber – when I was younger I used to watch him at work and I thought that’s something I would be good at one day. I want to make him proud – and it’s obviously a huge bonus to be getting paid too.”

Click here  to find out more about Sam’s apprenticeship experience.

For more information about how we support the creation of apprenticeships or social value projects that genuinely transform lives contact us on 0845 308 2321.