Politics & Policies

Portable Apprenticeships in UK – A consultation

Apprenticeships are more important than ever in equipping individuals and businesses with the skills they need as we build back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The UK government wants to make sure apprenticeships reflect modern models of employment for all employers in all sectors. In sectors such as the creative industries, construction and digital, it is common for workers to operate on project-based, short-term contracts. People may work on a project for several months and then, once the work is complete, their contract will end and they will move to another project with a different employer. Such patterns of employment have previously limited the ability of these sectors to embrace apprenticeships as a means to develop the skills of their workforce. To overcome these barriers, the UK government are developing portable apprenticeships which recognise that an apprentice will likely work for a number of employers while completing their training. Portable apprenticeships will also recognise that apprentices may need to take breaks throughout their apprenticeship as one project ends and there is a delay before their next one begins.

Some employers have already developed models of flexi-job apprenticeships which can help to overcome these challenges. Known as Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs), these bodies provide continuous employment to apprentices while loaning them out at a charge to other employers. This enables the apprentice to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours in a variety of workplaces, and for employers it removes the barrier of making a long-term commitment to employ an apprentice. The distinctive feature of the ATA model is that the ATA is the apprentice’s employer and therefore retains responsibility for managing their apprenticeship, even while the apprentice undertakes placements with other businesses. This means that alongside the apprentice’s off-the-job training delivered by a training provider of the ATA’s choosing, the apprentice undertakes on-the-job training in one or more business’s workplace.

This consultation, launched in April 2021, seeks views on the government’s vision for flexi-job apprenticeships as a means to overcome the barriers that have hindered the use of apprenticeships in certain sectors and professions. Prior to launching the £7m fund in July 2021, the government wants to explore the different way such models could operate. Importantly, how these models can provide a high-quality experience for the apprentices they employ, as well as for the host businesses they work with. Views are also sought on how flexi-job apprenticeship schemes can achieve the government’s ambition for long-term financial sustainability, and identify the improvements needed to the previous Apprenticeship Training Agency model. The aim is to learn from the experience of existing Apprenticeship Training Agencies and understand how they could help to meet the vision for flexi-job apprenticeships. The government response sets out how the development of flexi-job apprenticeship schemes will be taken forward in light of the consultation responses.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Flexi-Job Apprenticeships: Reshaping the role of Apprenticeship Training Agencies – Department for Education – Citizen Space

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