Apprenticeships have been a traditional route into construction for more or less as
long as apprenticeships have existed, and many people who have enjoyed successful
careers in the industry, started life as an apprentice 'on the tools'.
With a well documented skill shortage across the industry, construction firms of all sizes
are facing increasing uncertainty about the availability of skilled labour in the future. For
some firms, apprenticeships will be the key to growth and prosperity, for others it will be
the key to survival.
What could I employ an apprentice to do?
The apprenticeship programme has grown considerably in recent years, so as well as traditional trades such as bricklaying, site carpentry, plumbing and bench joinery, apprenticeships are also available in professions such as quantity surveying and management & supervision. Many construction companies also offer apprenticeship opportunities in areas such as business administration, sales and finance. Take a look at the A-Z guide on apprenticeships, you might be surprised what is possible!
Is it a big commitment on the part of an employer?
There is a guide for employers on taking on an apprentice which covers the main aspects of what an organisation needs to do, but common issues raised by firms include:
1. Tradition of 'self-employment' within the labour force
2. Uncertainty of work/contracts makes it harder to commit to the minimum 12 month duration of an apprenticeship.
Employers who do not want to employ an apprentice directly can still have one working for them, but they have to use an approved 'shared apprentice' scheme such as ours*.
Wages, funding and grants?
Apprentices must be paid
*Our 'Shared Apprenticeship scheme'
An early focus of ours has been the construction industry and we have placed apprentices on large, local developments who are employed by us, but managed and supervised by 'host' employers. Trades supported have included Site Carpentry and Brickwork. If this is of interest, the first thing you need to do is contact us to register your interest.
Apprenticeships and construction training
These local organisations offer apprenticeship and other construction training to help you train up new employees and upskill existing staff:
Abingdon & Witney College – offer a variety of entry level construction courses such as Bench Joinery, Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing.
ACE Training – specialist construction training centre in Kidlington, offering apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programmes in Brickwork, Bench Joinery, Construction Operations (Groundworks), Maintenance Operations and Site Carpentry as well as introductory and part-time courses. They hold regular open mornings and taster days and run a six week summer programme.
Activate Apprenticeships – offer apprenticeships including Civil Engineering, Plastering, Painting & Decorating, Brickwork, Carpentry and Plumbing, with training centres in Oxford and Reading.
JTL – offer Electrical, Plumbing, Heating & Ventilation and Property Maintenance apprenticeships at their specialist training centre in Culham. They also offer Traineeships.
Oxford Energy Academy – plumbing, gas and renewable energy training centre in Witney, offering Level 2 and 3 Plumbing & Heating Apprenticeships and lots of other courses. They hold taster days, giving you the chance to give plumbing a go.