Considerate Constructors Scheme
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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.

Construction News has reported that leaders of the industry cite a lack of skills and staff being the biggest challenges facing construction, which has led to some companies having to turn down work due to not having enough resource. Along with the rising number of people applying to undertake apprenticeships as reported by BBC News, there is still much more which can be done by the construction industry to attract new talent and secure its future.

Coinciding with the launch of ‘Spotlight on… apprenticeships’, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) run the annual National Apprenticeship Week which is designed to increase awareness, understanding and demand for apprentices, and in 2014 took place from the 3 – 7 March.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is a national organisation which provides resources and training to all companies working in the construction industry. The CITB are also the largest provider of apprentices for the industry with over 45 years’ experience, and are able to provide help and support to any organisation interested in finding out more about apprenticeships. Click here for more information.

Facts and figures

Here are some facts on apprenticeships:

  • The number of people applying for apprenticeships rose 43% in 2013.
  • In London and the North East, there were on average 18 applications per every advertised apprentice position.
  • The number of females applying for apprenticeships has risen by 55%.
  • 96% of employers who took on apprentices felt their company benefited from doing so.
  • As a result of hiring apprentices, 80% of employers say their workplace is more productive. 

 

 

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. Please find below a number of best practice initiatives that have been witnessed by the Scheme's Monitors on their site visits which are involve apprenticeships and encouraging a career in construction...

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Case studies

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Case studies

Read more for examples, case studies and sources of information that are better creating more career opportunities...

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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 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 enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk 
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Examples of best practice

The Scheme aims to improve the image of construction through sharing best practice with the industry. Please find below a number of best practice initiatives that have been witnessed by the Scheme’s Monitors on their site visits which involve apprenticeships and encourage a career in construction:

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 Health screening Healthy lifestyle advice Illegal workers Inappropriate language Medications Mental health Occupational health risks Posters
CategoriesAlcohol testing Apprenticeships Campaigns Communication Cycle safety 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…

Creating opportunites in construction for women

Published 25 November 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Diversity Equality
CategoriesDiversity Equality

The construction industry remains a male-dominated industry. Women should be encouraged to consider a career in construction from a young age. The industry needs to be promoted in a positive light to women, and opportunities should be made available to encourage a diverse range of skills within the industry. This contractor has encouraged women into construction by implementing the following targets, which also supports…

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…

Toolbox Talks

Published 13 October 2014 | No comments
Written by CCS Best Practice Hub Administrator
Categories Daily briefing Public survey Supervision Toolbox Talk
CategoriesDaily briefing Public survey Supervision Toolbox Talk

A toolbox talk is a short health and safety talk delivered to the workforce, which is focused on a specific site related subject, e.g. ‘fragile roofs.’ The messages are short and clear, with the aim to reinforce regular safety messages and continuously raise awareness. By delivering toolbox talks and sharing best practice in this way, this should help to reduce the number…

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Case studies

The industry has reacted to providing more apprenticeships programs. See below for examples, case studies and sources of information that are better creating more career opportunities:

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
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 have 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
Lafarge Tarmac – the company which is set to deliver highways services on behalf of Norfolk County Council created up to ten apprenticeships in 2014 in the county as part of a nationwide commitment to skills. 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 will be a levy on UK employers to fund new apprenticeships. It will be introduced in April 2017. 

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External resources

  • 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, an annual event organised by NAS took place from 3 – 7 March in 2014, aimed to put the focus on apprenticeships and raise its profile amongst employers, individuals, teachers, parents and the media.
  • NAS ran the Centenary Apprenticeship Programme, which aimed to engage 100 businesses who have been in operation for 100 years or more, and who have a focus on practicing skills and/or crafts which existed then and are still used now, but with a modern application, and who employ or wish to employ apprentices
  • Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2014 took place from 19 to 23 May. The fourth annual event was the biggest yet with involvement from more employers, training providers, colleges and sector skills councils.
  • 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 London Professional Apprenticeship (LPA) is an innovative apprenticeships programme which is being delivered in the capital’s professional services sector and has received £1.4 million from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
  • 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.

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 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.
  • No more lost generations, a cross-party parliamentarians’ inquiry supported by CITB and CIOB, stresses the importance of offering apprenticeships in construction to secure its future.
  • 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.
  • Construction Enquirer has reported that Laing O’Rourke has pledged to ensure that 30% of new recruits on its apprenticeship and cadet programme are women by 2016.
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