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 more importantly, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org