We have been awarded a share of £7 million in government funds to support the creation of flexi-job apprenticeship roles. Calico Enterprise will be working in partnership with Procure Plus, a not-for-profit company specialising in the procurement of goods and services related to repairs and maintenance for a wide range of social housing clients. The funding will enable us to employ a further 75 apprentices across the North of England during the funding period.
As part of the Governments new flexi-job apprenticeship offer, the funding will allow the partnership to provide greater support for businesses to make a viable investment in the skills they need to grow and bridge the gap to help more employers reap the rewards of apprenticeships.
With apprenticeships lasting at least 12 months, some sectors find it challenging to benefit from the opportunities apprenticeships offer. Flexi-job apprenticeships will allow employers in these sectors to overcome structural barriers and maximise their use of apprenticeships. They will also allow apprentices to work across a range of projects, and with different employers to complete their apprenticeship.
Alongside Procure Plus, we will focus our energies on the retrofit sector and large new build development programmes. Both areas of construction are high value but short term, meaning contractors often struggle to commit to directly employing apprentices. Retrofit programmes will provide apprentices with experience of modern methods of construction and the latest carbon reduction technologies. This experience will give apprentices the best chance to secure employment in this new and fast-growing sector in the future.
The funding and partnership with Procure Plus will help us broaden our existing shared apprenticeship service, Constructing the Future. As a result, the total number of roles created through the scheme will rise to well over 100.
In addition to the new apprenticeship positions, the funding will also provide greater access to construction for diverse candidates. Staffing across both partners will also increase with at least 5 new roles to be created through the funding. These roles will actively engage potential apprentices and local employers mentoring both parties to ensure a successful apprenticeship is completed.
Launching in August 2021, the flexi-job apprenticeship offer is part of the Government’s strategy to make apprenticeships more flexible. Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said of the scheme, “we want to recognise the challenges of the modern world of work and employment. The work of employers in sectors as diverse as theatre and live music, construction and digital is increasingly flexible and project-based, meaning it can be difficult for them to offer apprenticeships which meet the 12-month minimum duration requirement. However, we share their commitment to making apprenticeships work in their businesses, providing a diverse talent pipeline to meet their emerging skills needs. “