Apprentices in the construction sector at risk of losing out on a career due to the impact of Covid-19 are being thrown a lifeline.
Shared Apprenticeships South West (SASW) will work with companies in the region to redeploy and mentor people who have been displaced from their roles, as well as liaising with colleges and managing HR responsibilities on behalf of the employer.
Part of a £1m national scheme launched by Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the shared apprenticeship initiative enables workers starting out in the sector a chance to work for different firms and develop a wide range of skills.
It comes at a time when approximately half of construction’s 11,000 apprentices across the country are furloughed and around 60 per cent of construction companies say they will take on fewer apprentices at the next intake later this year, according to a recent industry survey.
Usually, apprentices would work for one employer throughout their training, but where this might not ow be possible, CITB is investing in schemes to place apprentices with different construction companies on short-term placements to keep people in employment and training.
The SASW Board is made up of partner organisations from the construction industry, education sector, councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships in the South West.
Ian Bassett, business support director at The Midas Group, a board member which has offices in Ashton Gate, said: “We at the Midas Group are committed to developing individuals to gain the skills and experience that will be vital to the industry’s future. Shared Apprenticeships South West enables us to do this in a way that is flexible for both us and the apprentice.
“By undertaking the recruitment and matching process on our behalf, as well as being involved with the training colleges, the scheme is a fantastic model for creating and filling apprentice opportunities in construction.”
Deborah Madden, CITB Head of Apprenticeships, added: “CITB is committed to doing everything to retain apprentices displaced as a result of Covid-19 within the sector and to limit the impact on their training.
“Support for shared apprenticeship schemes is just one of several measures outlined as part of CITB’s Skills Stability Plan for industry.”