There are over 2 million people employed in the construction industry currently, and a vast number of those will have started their careers as apprentices. In fact, it’s expected that over 220,000 construction jobs will be created in the next 5 years, so now’s a great time to consider apprenticeship schemes for your next recruits.
Apprenticeships in construction are popular and a common route into the industry. They can help you find passionate people who can be shaped into key members of your team, all with little upfront investment.
While apprenticeships are adopted by many construction businesses, smaller companies might shy away from apprenticeships because they’re concerned about the time it takes to train someone up, the cost of doing so, and any red tape associated with the process.
The truth is it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Will an apprentice help my business?
Traditional and specialist apprenticeships are common across occupations in construction, ranging from groundworks and bricklaying, to joinery and plumbing. What’s more, because they understand that you’re investing in them, apprentices are frequently praised for being loyal, and keen to learn.
The fresh perspectives apprentices can bring also help keep your business current and in-touch, invigorated by valuable new ideas or concepts. Combine that with funding for bespoke training, and you’ve got a tried-and-tested way of filling a skills gap within your business.
If eligible, it’s also possible for an existing employee to enrol in an apprenticeship with you, meaning you can take advantage of this cost-effective way to support their progress while driving your business forward.
Funding options for hiring an apprentice
The government is keen to promote apprenticeships and has put resources in place to make this a rewarding and affordable option for employers. And this means real financial perks:
- Employers can pay an apprentice the minimum wage while they’re being trained.
- Employers won’t have to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions on earnings up to £892 per week, for apprentices aged under 25 who are completing a statutory apprenticeship.
- There’s an Apprenticeship Grant for Employers available, which offers £1,500 per apprentice (read more on the dedicated government website, here).
CITB apprenticeships and support
The CITB is the largest provider of apprenticeships within the construction industry. So, you can rely on their experience in training and funding to help you build a fully qualified workforce. Particularly proactive when it comes to helping you solve challenges, the CITB helps companies to improve their services and increase competitiveness – actions on every business owner’s agenda.
The CITB wants to make recruiting an apprentice as simple as possible too, which is why they offer the following (based on eligibility):
- Funding for an apprentice’s training, with a grant of up to £10,250.
- The potential for employers in England to claim £1,500 from the National Apprenticeship Service.
- The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, available in conjunction with any other grants used to help pay an apprentice’s wages.
And their backing doesn’t stop at lump sums. The CITB also gives you hands-on support throughout the entire apprenticeship process, which means:
- Organising training for your apprentice.
- Assisting in the completion of paperwork necessary to claim grants.
- Providing advice on expenses available to cover travel and accommodation.
- Paying for examination fees.
You can find out more about how the CITB can help you here.
If you’re still not sure if an apprenticeship is the right option, you can try the CITB’s Construction Work Experience Programme. Work experience placements demonstrate how an apprentice can benefit your business and they also provide candidates, should you decide to offer a long-term apprenticeship.
The ‘how to hire an apprentice’ checklist
If, after learning about all the support available to you, you decide an apprenticeship is what you’re looking for, then here’s a handy summary of what you’ll need to do next.
- Choose the training framework for an apprenticeship in construction.
- Select an organisation that offers the training for this framework.
- Check what funding you can apply for.
- Advertise your apprenticeship (your training provider will help you with this).
- Select your apprentice and write up an apprenticeship agreement (including your commitment statement) with them.
You can read more about these steps on the gov.uk website. If apprenticeships sound appealing, but you don’t want the responsibility of running the scheme yourself, you can enlist the help of an apprentice training agency.
We’re excited about the next generation of great tradespeople. And, we’re excited about helping great tradespeople like you find new customers. Get more information on how Rated People can help your business.