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Skills Minister responds to CCATF call for apprenticeship support

Skills Minister responds to CCATF call for apprenticeship support

Mr Martyn Price

Chairman, Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force   

Dear Mr Price,

15 February 2022

Thank you for your letter of 20 January about supporting progression into apprenticeships.

It is always useful to receive insight from sector bodies and I have passed on your suggestions to policy officials.

I would first like to thank you for your kind words on my appointment as Minister for Skills. I am committed to supporting employers across the country, and in all sectors, to develop the skilled workforces they need, and I am grateful for the vital role which organisations like the CCATF play in helping to achieve this. I recently met young apprentices working on the construction of Paddington Square, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, and I want more apprentices and employers to be able to benefit from our high-quality training as we build back better.

We introduced the incentive scheme in August 2020 to support employers to create new apprenticeship opportunities, particularly to support businesses during the pandemic. It is great to see that over 160,000 incentive payments have been claimed by employers to date. Whilst we have not extended the scheme further, we continue to support employers with the cost of apprenticeship training, and we continue to offer £1,000 payments for employers when they take on apprentices aged 16-18 years old.

As you mention, it is absolutely right that we continue to support young people to progress into high-quality apprenticeships where that is the right option for them. I thought it would be helpful to outline the steps we are taking to encourage this, whether an individual is progressing from a Kickstart placement, a traineeship, or elsewhere.

As you are aware, we are introducing accelerated apprenticeships to support those with industry experience to complete an apprenticeship more quickly by using their prior learning and tailoring the apprenticeship to meet their needs. It is great to see that the ECITB is developing accelerated engineering apprenticeships following on from its scholarship programme.

We are encouraging more flexible-training models to support employers to take on new apprentices and train them in the way that best meets their needs. The construction sector is ramping up front-loaded starts in bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, civil engineering, and chartered surveying. Barratt Developments is running a front-loaded model for bricklaying, carpentry and joinery apprentices in which apprentices receive three weeks of residential training to embed core skills and knowledge up-front.

In addition, we are working with employers and stakeholders to develop occupational traineeships, including in bricklaying, which are aligned to apprenticeship standards and will provide a progression route to apprenticeships.

I hope this response has been helpful and emphasised our continued support for progression routes into construction apprenticeships.

 

Thank you for writing on this important matter.

Yours sincerely,

Alex Burghart MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills

Apprenticeships

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