apprenticeships

Spotlight on… apprenticeships intends to highlight the importance of apprenticeships, and the benefits to employers, the individuals and the wider community...

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The campaign

‘Spotlight on… apprenticeships’ intends to highlight the importance of apprenticeships, and the benefits to employers, the individuals and the wider community.

Many construction companies do have apprenticeship schemes in place, but a growing demand for skills and staff means more should be done to encourage the next generation to choose a career in construction.

There are many benefits to offering apprenticeships, which include improving productivity, filling a skills gap or training in a specialist area within the business, as well as a more motivated workforce.

The skills shortage is one of the most pressing issues facing construction, with industry leaders often citing a lack of skills and staff being the biggest challenges. This has even led to some companies having to turn down work due to not having enough resources. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicts that the industry needs almost 36,000 new workers annually through to 2021 to meet demand. Apprenticeships can be one solution to meeting this demand.

However, Construction News report that despite the introduction of the Apprenticeship levy in April 2017, the number of total apprenticeship starts between April and July 2017 was 48,000, down 59% from 117,800 between April and July 2016. While construction held up relatively well compared to other industries, still only 50-60% of construction apprenticeships are completed. The industry has to address this issue and attract more construction apprentices.

The industry is doing a great deal of work to recruit, train and retain apprentices and there are a number of resources available for contractors to find out more about apprenticeships, some of which are detailed further in this campaign. There are signs these efforts are working, with 70% of parents in a 2018 survey saying they would advise their children on studying an apprenticeship.

The initial launch of ‘Spotlight on… apprenticeships’ in 2014 coincided with the first National Apprenticeship Week, run by the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service’s (NAS), which was held between  3 – 7 March. National Apprenticeship Week is held every year in early March and is designed to increase awareness, understanding and demand for apprentices.

Facts and figures

Here are some facts on apprenticeships in England taken from the House of Commons December 2017 Briefing Paper:

  • 2016/17 saw a record high number of people participating in an apprenticeship at 912,200, which is 12,800 more than in the year before.
  • In 2016/17, there were 491,300 apprenticeship starts in England, 18,100 less than the previous year
  • People aged 25 and over accounted for 46% of apprenticeship starts in 2016/17. People aged 19-24 accounted for 29%.
  • In 2016/17, 54% of apprenticeships starts were by women.
  • The number of non-white starters has been gradually increasing since 2011/12, from 51,350 to 55,000 in 2016/17

 

 

Law and legislation

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Law and legislation

The subject of apprenticeships is an important pillar of the industry's image. The following law and legislation below highlights exactly how employers and employees must be aware of the legal aspects involved...

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External resources

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External resources

There a number of initiatives currently in place within the industry that are designed to raise awareness of apprenticeship schemes...

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Examples of best practice

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Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing best practice with the industry. Below are a number of best practice examples that have been witnessed by the Scheme’s Monitors on their visits or submitted directly by registered sites, companies and suppliers…

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Case studies

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Case studies

Read the following case studies to see how contractors and young people are working together to promote apprenticeships…

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What can you do?

It is vital that the industry continues to offer apprenticeships, not only to young people, but to anyone who has an enthusiasm for working in construction.

There are many benefits to providing apprenticeships and not just for the employer and apprentice, but to the wider community.

You will find below some helpful advice on what can be done to be better prepared and better organised for apprenticeship opportunities:

       1. Ensure you as an employer are following the correct conditions and processes

It is important to understand that taking on an apprenticeship can be a lengthy and structured process. Therefore as an employer you should be fully aware, up to date and versed in the process of hiring an apprentice and the conditions that must be followed. These would include eligibility, pay and duration as a few examples. Please visit the official guide; ‘Employ an apprentice’ here.

      2. Be mindful an apprentice may never have had a full time job before

Many apprentices will not have been in full time employment before, it is important to provide them with a proper induction like any other employee. Be sure to brief the apprentice with their rights and obligations, the job description and what is expected from them and the apprenticeship programme. It is also worth bearing in mind they may not be aware of some of the more simple processes of full time employment and its working environment, you should therefore demonstrate as an employer you are happy to answer any questions they may have throughout the programme.

     3. Provide a structured and reliable support system

Support is crucial for any employee, this is no different to an apprentice and in some cases even more important. Be sure to allocate a designated line manager or mentor to your apprentice who will act as the programme lead, first point of contact and person of support. The mentor should build a supportive relationship with the apprentice.

Whilst the aim of the programme is to gain skills and knowledge, the workplace can also be a daunting environment for some and therefore their mentor should be someone they can trust. The mentor should be someone with good communication skills and shows an attitude to help young people.

As well as the information above, it is also advised to use the resources provided in the ‘External resources’ section of this campaign, which offer a plentiful amount of resources from other organisations and companies that cover the full spectrum of the topic.

With the skills gap and shortage of resources already having an effect on some companies, it is essential that the industry as a whole encourages new people into construction and provides sufficient training and support which allows them to excel.

The Scheme hopes that the information and resources provided in this article will encourage even higher numbers of companies to consider offering apprenticeships, and take action to ensure they have the necessary skills and staff to lead them into the future.

The Scheme will continue to update this page as new initiatives and case studies are identified. If you would like to share how your company is promoting apprenticeships, please contact the Scheme by emailing enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk 

Date published: March 7 2014
Last updated: May 11 2018

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Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing best practice with the industry. Below are a number of best practice examples that have been witnessed by the Scheme’s Monitors on their visits or submitted directly by registered sites, companies and suppliers…

Working in Partnership to Promote Apprenticeships

Published 12 March 2018 | No comments
Written by Duncan Gardner
Categories Apprenticeships Campaigns Careers advice Diversity
CategoriesApprenticeships Campaigns Careers advice Diversity

Here at Phase One of the Perth Transport Futures Project, we have developed a very close relationship with the Perth and Kinross branch of Developing the Young Workforce. We have worked together on several projects in the local community and recently worked together to produce a film for Scottish Apprenticeship Week. The film showcases an extremely talented young woman, Bethany…

England and Scotland Apprentice Week social media competition

Published 12 March 2018 | No comments
Written by Kris Karslake
Categories Apprenticeships Campaigns Careers advice Social media
CategoriesApprenticeships Campaigns Careers advice Social media

To mark the start of England’s National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2018) and Scotland’s Apprentice Week (#ScotAppWeek2018). The Early Careers Manager and Community Engagement assistant will use our social media to celebrate why apprenticeships are great for BAM. Using the social media campaign we will hear directly from our trainees and apprentices about why apprenticeships work for them. To help BAM celebrate…

New digital construction apprenticeships

Published 27 February 2018 | No comments
Written by Gavin Thomas
Categories Apprenticeships Careers advice Colleges Training
CategoriesApprenticeships Careers advice Colleges Training

Kier is a forward-thinking company that seeks to attract and retain construction talent of the future. To support this, we have launched a new digital construction apprenticeship scheme, which we believe is the first of its kind in the industry, and which embeds BIM as a foundation that can be used for on the job practical application and delivery of…

Promoting apprenticeships in the construction industry

Published 26 January 2018 | No comments
Written by Sirio D'Aleo
Categories Apprenticeships Colleges Training
CategoriesApprenticeships Colleges Training

The Wardian team is keen to promote careers in construction, engage the local community and create opportunities for local residents to work on our project, especially young people. We are working in partnership with local colleges to encourage students to start a career in the construction industry, and we are targeting 25 apprentices on our project. To achieve this target,…

A mechanical and engineering taster day exclusively for young women at Mace

Published 18 September 2017 | No comments
Written by Laura Hampson
Categories Apprenticeships Diversity Inclusion
CategoriesApprenticeships Diversity Inclusion

Mace has found a lack of women applying to their apprenticeship programmes in the mechanical and electrical engineering (MEP) sector. To address this, Mace’s MEP directors have worked alongside the community engagement and emerging talent teams to explore the causes and solutions to the issue. A trend noticed by community engagement managers at Mace is that young women who enter…

REACH apprenticeship programme

Published 19 April 2017 | No comments
Written by Kevin Roodt
Categories Apprenticeships Create opportunities Placements
CategoriesApprenticeships Create opportunities Placements

Berkeley Capital’s Reach apprenticeship programme was officially launched to our Supply Chain on 5 July 2016. Apprenticeship is first and foremost a job combining on-the-job training with obtaining nationally recognised qualifications, such as BTEC or an NVQ and the development of transferrable skills. This programme is there to allow young people to get a chance to begin and develop their…

Celebrating our apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week

Published 20 March 2017 | No comments
Written by Cintia Bailey
Categories Apprenticeships Placements Training
CategoriesApprenticeships Placements Training

National Apprenticeship Week 2017 helps bring together employers and apprentices from across England to celebrate the success of apprenticeships. We have been highlighting the success of Connect Plus Services’ apprenticeships over the last twelve months by showing not only the benefits associated with gaining an apprenticeship but also how apprenticeships are a gold-standard route into a great career. To read…

Recognising Apprentices at Awards Events

Published 16 November 2016 | No comments
Written by Andrew Sharp
Categories Apprenticeships Recognition
CategoriesApprenticeships Recognition

As part of our Apprentice support programme we encouraged our second year Apprentices to reflect on their achievements in completing their first full year of their Apprenticeships. This included supporting one of our Apprentices to prepare a submission for a local industry award scheme, capturing what he had learned in his first year and how he had contributed to business…

BSSU at QK Academy Careers Fair

Published 12 September 2016 | No comments
Written by Angelika Chraska-Pongo
Categories Careers advice Colleges Goodwill Legacy Schools Workforce
CategoriesCareers advice Colleges Goodwill Legacy Schools Workforce

The Your Future Careers Fair is a part of a government funded program aimed at students aged 14-24 in order to try and get them into work, showing them the alternate ways they can take their future and offering apprenticeships to those who choose to take them. The BSSU project took part in this by attending QK Academy School and…

Celebrating and supporting our Apprentices

Published 25 August 2016 | No comments
Written by Andrew Sharp
Categories Apprenticeships Colleges Goodwill Labour Legacy Support Workforce
CategoriesApprenticeships Colleges Goodwill Labour Legacy Support Workforce

As part of our longer term resource planning, we have made a commitment to Apprenticeships across the business. Our current Apprentices extend across our engineering/design teams, business support and commercial teams, providing valuable local career opportunities for people. Each Apprentice is assigned a personal mentor close to their point of work so they can support and advise on day to…

Spotlight on… campaign flyers

Published 22 June 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Alcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety Diversity Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Posters
CategoriesAlcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety Diversity Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Posters

The Spotlight on… flyers have been designed for general display in and around site welfare facilities. The Scheme provides a collection of A5 flyers from both past and current ‘Spotlight on… ‘ awareness campaigns. Each unique flyer contains information on the industry issue and advice on how to tackle it. This resource has proven valuable for display on site and raising awareness…

Armed forces apprenticeship pathway

Published 29 February 2016 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Businesses Corporate Social Responsibility action plan Create opportunities
CategoriesBusinesses Corporate Social Responsibility action plan Create opportunities

When a contractor moves into an area, the manpower and resources used to develop the project also provides a center for opportunity, employment and skills experience. Taking the initiative to provide this service demonstrates excellent corporate responsibility on behalf of the company and industry itself. The benefits can also work in favour of the individual gaining valuable experience and also the company…

CITB – Go Construct campaign

Published 28 September 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Campaigns Careers advice Careers advice Create opportunities Placements
CategoriesApprenticeships Campaigns Careers advice Careers advice Create opportunities Placements

Go Construct is an industry wide initiative that aims to attract, inform and retain a talented workforce for the Construction and Built Environment sector and has been developed with more than 200 construction employers, schools, colleges and those with a passion for construction. It will consist of a common gateway website, giving people access to a range of useful and practical…

Co-operative P3D Apprenticeships

Published 29 July 2015 | No comments
Written by Emma Barrett
Categories Apprenticeships Employed Placements
CategoriesApprenticeships Employed Placements

Co-operative Estate’s Portfolios, Programmes and Projects Delivery (P3D) team have just recruited their first three Junior Project Management Apprentices. The Co-operative Group are offering Apprentices a programme which we believe will support their learning throughout the training course and support their future career. We are investing in our Apprentices with a three year scheme instead of the two years currently offered…

National Apprenticeship Week

Published 17 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Colleges Create opportunities Labour Placements
CategoriesApprenticeships Colleges Create opportunities Labour Placements

The National Apprenticeship Week is coordinated annually by the National Apprenticeship Service. This week is all about celebrating apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. To support National Apprenticeship Week on your site, you could do the following: Provide apprenticeships and work experience opportunities to local schools, colleges and members of the community; Promote apprenticeships, training and adult learning…

Apprenticeship scheme

Published 1 April 2015 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Create opportunities Employed Labour
CategoriesApprenticeships Create opportunities Employed Labour

The construction industry suffers skills gaps from time to time. It is therefore vital that the industry actively encourages new talent. Below is an example of how sites can use apprenticeship opportunities to achieve this: An apprenticeship scheme was introduced, with groups of 30 individuals given 6 weeks work experience (at least twice per year), many were offered full-time positions once they had…

Community project work

Published 19 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Corporate Social Responsibility action plan
CategoriesApprenticeships Corporate Social Responsibility action plan

As part of the corporate social responsibility plan, sites should be committed to forming good relations with the local community. This can range from regular updates and meetings with residents to sponsoring and attending community events and fundraising. It can also include training and employment opportunities. A number of sites implement a strong neighbourhood communications programme, centred around one-to-one contact. Below are examples…

Benefits of apprenticeships – CITB

Published 13 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Placements Qualifications Training
CategoriesApprenticeships Placements Qualifications Training

Offering apprenticeship and placement opportunities on site is vitally important to the construction industry. Benefits of apprenticeships include improving productivity, filling a skills gap or training in a specialist area within the business; as well as creating a highly motivated workforce. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is the largest provider of apprentices for the industry, with over 45 years of experience. To…

Apprenticeships & graduates – 5% club

Published 11 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Careers advice Training
CategoriesApprenticeships Careers advice Training

Many companies are looking to engage with potential employees and offer apprenticeship and training opportunities. Contractors have joined the 5% Club which means they have committed to the aim of ensuring that at least 5% of their UK workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years. For more information about this intiative, please click below.

Employment opportunities for disadvantaged people

Published 6 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Create opportunities Disadvantaged groups Employed Labour Placements
CategoriesCreate opportunities Disadvantaged groups Employed Labour Placements

Where possible, opportunities should be created for local businesses, as well as unemployed or disadvantaged people who could be offered work experience, training or apprenticeships. Working with and supporting the needs of the local community, is fundamental to the industry’s image and could help future recruitment. Employing local people not only benefits the community, but also contributes to a diverse skill…

The Prince’s Trust – ‘Get into programme’

Published 5 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Apprenticeships Corporate Social Responsibility action plan Create opportunities Disadvantaged groups Labour Placements Training
CategoriesApprenticeships Corporate Social Responsibility action plan Create opportunities Disadvantaged groups Labour Placements Training

The Prince’s Trust is supporting the construction industry to address the current skills shortage and encourage new talent. The ‘Get into Construction’ programme offers a multi-skilled programme, which can lead to apprenticeship opportunities on site and help unemployed young people gain valuable training and experience. Here is an example of how one site in conjunction with the Prince’s Trust supported the programme: A 2…

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Case studies

Read the following case studies to see how contractors and young people are working together to promote apprenticeships…

Balfour Beatty have joined the 5% Club which means they have committed to the aim of ensuring that 5% of their UK workforce are apprentices, graduates or sponsored students on structured programmes within the next five years.

Balfour Beatty have also showed their support for National Apprenticeship Week, pledging 50 apprentices as part of its commitment to recruiting and developing the civil engineers, electricians, skilled trades and project leaders of tomorrow.

In support of National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March) Balfour Beatty invited members of East Riding of Yorkshire Council to meet five apprentices working on the £22 million Beverley Integrated Transport Plan construction project.

The company has since had its most successful National Apprenticeship Week ever. Please click here for more information.

Balfour Beatty have shared with the Scheme a number of case studies written on six of their apprentices. Please click on each name to read their story:

Adam Moxey, Trainee Site Manager

Freddie Palmer, Junior Engineer

Kamila Laton, Apprentice Document Controller

Liam McCallan, Apprentice Electrician

Shane Hood, Apprentice Site Supervisor

Balfour Beatty also play an active role in promoting the Scottish Apprenticeship Week. They have provided a further six case studies below.

Christopher Miller, Technical Trainee

Gary Baird, Technical Trainee

Ryan Flood, Apprentice Electrician

Colin Watt, Design Draughtsman

Rory Mair, Apprentice Electrician

Dean McLeman, Apprentice Joiner

BAM Construction were set a challenging target by Manchester City Football Academy to take on apprentices. For more information, please click here.

BAM manage the Coventry and Warwickshire Shared Apprentice Scheme, which they started with Coventry City Council and City College Coventry in December 2010. BAM employ the apprentices and find them work placements with local contractors, supporting them throughout their apprenticeship, with the aim of securing them full time employment on the completion of their framework. Click here for more information.

The scheme also has its own awards, with BAM recognising the hardest working apprentices. Click here for more information. 

BAM Nuttall run an award-winning apprenticeship programme which covers three different routes – civil engineering, quantity surveying and planning. For more information, please click here

Berkeley‘s Victory Pier site has a structured approach to encouraging apprenticeships, which supports the wider Group’s efforts to attract more young people into the industry. Find out more here.

Read the stories of Darren Down, Assistant Quantity Surveyor, Sam Lane, Apprentice Site Manager and Sharon Griffin, Site Office Manager.

Berkeley has produced a number of materials promoting apprenticeships including: poster encouraging subcontractors to take on apprentices, eye-catching visuals outlining key statistics, and promotional posters for Berkeley’s Apprentice Awards. 

Costain and Network Rails London Bridge Station Redevelopment site has achieved Skills Academy status which enables local people to be trained into local jobs, helping to create a sustainable community. For more information, please click here
Durkan work with a number of organisations which assist with placing and supporting apprentices, as well as running their own successful apprenticeship scheme. For more information, please click here
Galliford Try work with a number of Construction Training Initiative schemes to provide long-term waged work experience for candidates enrolled on apprenticeships. For more information, please click here
GB Building Solutions Ltd developed a strong relationship with Lewisham and Southwark College to provide those on construction courses with practical help and placements. For more information, please click here
Laing O’Rourke‘s Apprenticeship+ programme is a bespoke four-year scheme, designed to give participants the opportunity to develop a well-rounded suite of skills that will set them on a path to a successful career in construction. For more information, please click here
Morgan Sindall are committed to offering apprenticeships, and empowering and training individuals plays a central role in the company’s vision.

The company has created sustainable apprenticeship opportunities at their Pudding Mill Lane site for Crossrail. Click here for more information.

Morgan Sindall’s approach to apprenticeships has been rewarded at the Crossrail Apprentice Awards. Click here for more information.

Pochin offer a number of apprenticeship opportunities in various roles and have shared four case studies of apprentices thriving in construction. For more information, please click here
VolkerHighways have provided the Scheme with an article written by apprentice James Gunn, currently working as an engineer in Catford. For more information, please click here
Close law and legislation

Law and legislation

The subject of apprenticeships is an important pillar of the industry’s image. The following law and legislation below highlights exactly how employers and employees must be aware of the legal aspects involved:

Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

This act ensures the agreement of basic terms of employment plus a statement of the trade or skill that is being trained. This can be in the form of a written statement of particulars of employment, a written contract of employment or a letter of engagement. It also introduced new apprenticeship frameworks and apprenticeship certificates. 

Apprenticeship Levy

The Apprenticeship Levy, which was introduced in April 2017, requires every firm with a payroll of over £3m to pay 0.5 per cent of their wage bill into a central fund for new apprenticeships.

Please note that skills and training are devolved policy areas, so the countries of the United Kingdom manage their own apprenticeship schemes.
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External resources

  • City & Guilds are a skills development organisation, providing services to training providers, employers and trainees. They offer a number of qualifications and apprenticeships in the construction industry, which can be found here.
  • The Government has published a page designed principally for those looking to apply for apprentice roles which also provides general information about apprenticeships in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has end to end responsibility for apprenticeships in England. The NAS has been designed to increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.
    National Apprenticeship Week is an annual event organised by NAS every March, which aims to put the focus on apprenticeships and raise its profile amongst employers, individuals, teachers, parents and the media.
  • Prince’s Trust’s ‘Get into Construction’ programme can help unemployed people gain valuable training and experience which could lead to an apprenticeship in the construction industry.
  • Scottish Apprenticeships is the central location for information about apprenticeships in Scotland.
    Scottish Apprenticeship Week is held every March to celebrate and promote apprenticeships.

What is currently being done in the industry?

There are numerous resources available to sites looking to offer apprenticeship opportunities, along with many examples of how construction organisations have trained and developed apprentices.

  • The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) provides a wealth of resources for all construction companies, including training, accreditation, publications and apprenticeship services.
    – The CITB are the largest provider of apprentices for the construction industry, with over 45 years’ experience of developing skilled workers. Apprenticeship training is developed in consultation with the industry to ensure the right skills are learnt. For more information on CITB Apprenticeships, click here.
    – CITB’s Go Construct website provides information about apprenticeships and showcases careers in construction.
    – CITB have also launched the website bConstructive, which provides information to support the decision of choosing an exciting career in the industry.
  • The Construction Youth Trust (CYT) is a registered charity working with young people to help them access training, education and employment opportunities in construction, with a strong focus on developing apprenticeships.
    – CYT run the Budding Brunels initiative, a schools engagement programme aimed at informing and inspiring students from disadvantaged backgrounds about higher education and career options within the construction industry.
  • Construction 2025 is a joint strategy which sets out how industry and Government will work together to put Britain at the forefront of global construction over the coming years. Included in this document are numerous references to apprenticeships, including how a fall in apprenticeships is a threat to the growth of the industry.
  • The Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force (CCATF) aims to bring together all sectors of the construction industry to champion the culture and ethos of training in the industry and to encourage those not training to do so. CCATF also want to promote the benefits and value that an apprentice can bring to an employer.
  • Crossrail, in partnership with its principal contractors, has created more than 1,000 apprenticeships since the start of the programme in 2009.For more information about their apprenticeship programme, click here.
  • K10 is an apprenticeship training agency based in London, working with Government, local authorities and construction companies to provide apprentices for site, even for short-term contracts, taking full responsibility for the individual apprenticeship.
  • ‘No more lost generations’ is a February 2014 cross-party parliamentarians’ inquiry supported by CITB and CIOB, emphasising the importance of offering apprenticeships in construction to secure the industry’s future.
  • Y Prentis is a partnership between Melin Homes and Monmouthshire County Council and is funded by the CITB and the Welsh Government. The scheme interviews and hires apprentices and places them with construction companies.
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