Apprenticeships are a vital part of the skills gap solution

The NAS and its Members were represented this week by our Training Manager, Lorraine Shepherd, at the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Taskforce (CCATF) Meeting/Seminar held at the iconic location of City Hall, London.

We are proud Members of the CCATF – you can find out more about their apprenticeship vision by downloading their report (found at the bottom of their homepage).

Lorraine commented after the event: “It was an excellent and thought provoking meeting, with some outstanding contributions from Balfour Beatty/Brathay, Greater London Authority, Persimmon Homes, Transport for London and the London Progression Collaboration in association with the London Mayor.”

Lorraine’s key takeaways from the event were:

  • Apprenticeships are a vital part of the skills gap solution
  • The UK, London especially, is facing a skills crisis. There are critical skills gaps across London’s key business sectors, namely construction, and it has the lowest level of ‘apprenticeship starts’ in the UK
  • Apprentices address skills gaps and increase productivity all the while boosting your organisations’ offering by up-skilling your workforce
  • Apprenticeships are a way to attract & retain untapped talent.

The steps that were shared on how to create a successful apprenticeship programme included:

  • Finding the right candidate
  • Sourcing the right provider
  • Demonstrating commitment
  • Providing the right experience
  • Preparing for the ‘E.P.A’ (End Point Assessment)
  • Promoting progression

Lorraine’s main takeaway from the event was that investing in apprentices is crucial, and this is something the NAS feels strongly about supporting.

Are you a CITB Levy payer? If so, are you making the most out of the ‘Apprentice Support Grant’? This grant supports smaller construction employers with the start-up costs when taking on a new apprentice. It is a two-year pilot, and is an addition to the CITB’s full apprenticeship grant packages. Lorraine is happy to advise on this should our Members have any queries.

The NAS is looking forward to supporting apprentices further in 2020, including hosting our Apprenticeship Competition again following the success of it this year.

Apprentice roadsign image credits: Alpha Stock / Nick Youngson / Picpedia