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CCATF Seeks apprenticeship support from new Skills Minister

CCATF Seeks apprenticeship support from new Skills Minister

The Right Honourable Alex Burghart MP

Thursday 20th January 2022 Dear Minister,

RE: Apprenticeship Incentive Payments & alignment with Kickstart placements 

I’d firstly like to take the opportunity to congratulate you on your recent appointment and look forward to engaging with you on apprenticeship and skills related matters in the future. We enjoyed a purposeful relationship with your predecessor and hope that we can build upon that successful dialogue. Gillian also kindly offered a valuable contribution to our recent CCATF Apprenticeship Vision 2021/22 document, which I enclose and hope you consider this to still be both relevant and supportive of apprenticeships within the construction sector.

We exchanged several letters with the Minister most recently regarding our request to consider an extension to the Apprenticeship Incentives dated 5th August 2021. I attach my original letter and Gillian’s supportive response. It is in this regard that I once again write and seek to reiterate my initial request regarding a cohesive and strategic alignment of the Apprenticeship Incentives with Kickstart and potentially other government policies such as Traineeships.

As I previously stated 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.

The Kickstart programme has now benefitted over 100,000 young people and delivered a more diverse workforce, although it has taken some time to be adopted by the construction sector and in particularly for SME employers to fully understand the benefits and the flexibilities that the programme offers.

My concern is that in the absence of a structured pathway and without the directional guidance and impetus to gain traction from this Kickstart placement, many young people could inadvertently become displaced at the end of the programme, particularly if the employer is unaware of the onward progression pathways or lacks clarity or confidence about any apprenticeship opportunities.

A strategic and targeted alignment with a future Apprenticeship Incentive Payment for Kickstart placements could redefine this relationship for employers. This would also allow related government departments to promote this progression and maximise the likely uptake.

This could once again achieve the same or similar outcomes as set out in our earlier letter, however it would also specifically allow a more robust and structured opportunity to revisit every ‘on programme’ Kickstart placement and align it to a future apprenticeship start which would be then supported by the Apprenticeship Incentive Payments.

It could support a potential reduction in youth unemployment and minimise future displacement through the alignment of these two programmes. Furthermore, it could also possibly help build on the diversity of engagement that has been achieved through the at the initial Kickstart placements.

It has a clearly defined and limited cost for the government and if successful can be overlayed on other government supported work placement programmes.

Once again, I trust you will consider my proposal beneficial in the support of youth employment and for the greater good of not only our sector but moreover for other sectors which could also help reduce displacement and unemployment and support our continued economic recovery.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Yours sincerely,

 

Martyn W Price MBE

Chairman Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force

Apprenticeships

Download our Apprenticeship Vision 2021-22

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