Here at Central Construction Training we are passionate about our Construction Apprenticeship programme. Now in our third year, with over 150 construction apprentices training with us we want to share our success with others and help businesses who are still unsure about taking on apprenticeship to see real advantages to taking on a trainee.
Apprentices should be the lifeblood of any construction company, but too often management is put off by wrong, preconceived ideas.
In our experience apprentices will be the greatest investment you ever make in your business, and we would emphasise the following reasons and advice to everyone:
1 – Trainees improve the productivity of existing staff
Develop a structure and a role for apprentices within your organisation and this will make managing them less time-consuming.
Picking a mentor is essential – understand that some will be much better mentors than others.
Staff who are in the last 10 years of their career and keen to impart their knowledge usually make the best mentors, and the pleasure of mentoring often makes them more productive overall.
We find having one apprentice per team (Construction gang) is the most manageable and beneficial set-up for all involved, and means there will always be enough supervision and work for the trainee.
2 – Training is fully funded and grants are also available to assist with covering apprentice wages.
Training your apprentice with Central Construction Training is FREE of charge. We obtain all our costs from the funding the government make available to training providers such as ourselves. We work with the Skills Funding Agency and their partners and as all funding covers our training we don’t ask the employer for any contributions. As well as this we support all learners with their CSCS training and first card applications so that they are safe to go out on site.
You are required to pay the learner and current apprenticeship wages are £3.30ph, this works out to £132 per week based on a 40 hour week. You can apply for a CITB Grant of up to £6,000, and we will also make an application for an additional £1,500 from the government Age Grant Scheme for eligible organisations.
3 – It’s an investment that pays
Taking on apprentices is an investment that should reap considerable returns for your business.
The mix of practical experience and education ensures your apprentice gains the skills necessary to do the job very quickly.
4 – It creates a good impression with clients
Clients respond positively to businesses that take on apprentices.
It demonstrates that you are confident about your long-term prospects and are planning for the next 15 to 20 years, rather than just the next three to five.
5 – The Benefits to Young People
Alongside the obvious benefits to your business, apprenticeships are a huge benefit to the person you decide to take on as you will be giving them an opportunity that they would not have had otherwise.. This is one of the key reasons why apprenticeships are such a good opportunity for young people, as they allow them to gain entry into a career path that would have been blocked to them otherwise.
Apprenticeships are also key in giving young people the confidence they need to believe in their own ability, as the guidance they receive from their managers and colleagues while completing an apprenticeship can really help them to excel and grow as both a person and an employee. Finally, apprenticeships help 16-23yr olds by giving them a recognised qualification and work experience, both of which are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, due to rise in University fees and the competitiveness of the UK job market.
6 – The Construction industry needs apprentices
Apprenticeships must be made a key part of the construction industry again. We wouldn’t even have been having this debate in the 1970s.
We need to develop young people for a life-long career in construction.
As the market recovers, labour shortages are already becoming an issue, which leaves us competing for labour and thus paying a premium for people. This risks choking off the recovery.
Apprentices are crucial to creating a strong workforce that’s capable of meeting important goals such as the government’s housebuilding targets – something the industry doesn’t have the labour and skills pool to deliver at present.
To discuss the options on taking on a construction apprentice please contact our learning & development team on 01543 455 400.