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CCATF seek extension of incentives for apprentices

CCATF seek extension of incentives for apprentices

CCATF Chair, Martyn Price, MBE, has written to Rt. Hon. Gillian Keegan seeking an extension of the incentives currently being offered in support of apprentices. A copy of the letter has been reproduced below.

 

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The Right Honourable Gillian Keegan MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street

Westminster

London

SW1P 3BT

 

Thursday 5th August 2021

 

Dear Minister,

RE: Apprenticeship Incentive Payments

Thank you for your valuable contribution to our recent CCATF Apprenticeship Vision document. I trust you consider the publication to be both relevant and supportive of apprenticeships within the construction sector?

We share a commitment to supporting employers and individuals seeking to embark on an apprenticeship journey and, as importantly, ensure that we communicate and cascade relevant and current policy related initiatives to our wider CCATF member network. It is in this regard I write to request your consideration to extend the current Apprenticeship Incentives.

Whilst I believe the concept and the timeliness of the apprenticeship incentives was a well planned and implemented intervention, it, like most other policy changes, takes time to permeate through to smaller businesses where, to a larger extent, in the construction sector at least, most apprentices are employed.

My request is not wholly about a blanket extension on the incentives per se, whilst that to some would be welcome, particularly at a time when youth unemployment is so high. More, it is based on a cohesive alignment with other government policies, specifically the Kickstart programme.

In discussion with our wider network and in particular our SME contractors, it appears that the Kickstart programme has taken some time to be adopted by the construction sector and for employers to fully understand the benefits and the flexibilities that the  programme offers. It is worth noting that apprenticeships within small and medium contractors have consistently made up a large percentage of the overall construction numbers.

In seeking to penetrate SME’s and potentially increase the participation on both current Kickstart candidates and those starting before the end of the year, would it not be possible to simply allow the current Apprenticeship Incentive Payments to be aligned to any Kickstart candidate who progresses on to a future apprenticeship programme?

Doing his could achieve a number of desirable outcomes;

Firstly, a more robust and structured marketing opportunity between now and the end of the year to promote Kickstart and align it to future apprenticeship starts.

Secondly, an additional pathway for Kickstart candidates to enable them to more likely and directly benefit from a progression on to an apprenticeship after the initial Kickstart placement.

Thirdly, a greater appetite for young people to engage in the Kickstart programme given the increased opportunity for a progression on to an apprenticeship after the initial placement.

Additionally, a more sustained and seamless offer and alignment of these two programmes with employers supporting both increased adoption of short and medium term Kickstart placements and future progression on related apprenticeship programmes.

Finally, I posit a potential reduction in youth unemployment through the alignment of these two programmes at the end of the initial Kickstart placement would be a tangible ambition and a positive, achievable, outcome

I trust you will consider my proposal in the spirit in which it has been tabled, primarily for the greater good of our young people as we recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. A proposal, I trust you can agree which could increase uptake and subsequently reduce the skills gaps in our sector.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

 

Yours sincerely,

Martyn W Price MBE

Chairman Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force

 

 

cc. The Right Honourable Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer

cc. Andy Mitchell, Co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council

cc. Brian Berry, CEO Federation of Master Builders

 

 

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