Businesses in the creative, agricultural and construction industries are among those now eligible to benefit from a £7 million fund to create new flexible apprenticeship opportunities.
The fund will establish agencies to set up more flexible apprenticeships in areas where roles are typically short-term and therefore unsuitable for traditional 12 month apprenticeship programs. The new scheme will allow an apprentice to complete their training across a range of projects and multiple employers, enabling sectors such as digital, social care, transport and manufacturing to offer high-quality training to those at the beginning of their careers.
For example, this would enable an apprentice working in film, TV or theatre to work on different productions during their apprenticeship, or an apprentice in construction to fulfil several contracts to complete their apprenticeship.
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan said:
We want to build an apprenticeship system that enables everyone to get the experience and knowledge they require to get the job they want, while ensuring employers have a diverse talent pipeline to meet their skills needs.
Our flexi-job apprenticeships will unleash exciting new opportunities in sectors such as the creative industries and construction where employment is increasingly flexible and project-based, while also helping larger organisations to grow starts in their supply chains, levelling up chances for people to build the life they want.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
I’m thrilled that apprentices and employers in freelance industries such as film and TV can start to benefit from our new flexi-job apprenticeship scheme as part of our Plan for Jobs.
Together, we’re creating exciting new opportunities for apprentices and employers – harnessing the skill and talent of today for the jobs of tomorrow.
The response to a consultation the Government launched in April 2021 has also been published this week, which highlights strong support for the introduction of flexible apprenticeships as well as wider flexibilities in apprenticeships.
The creative industry in particular has welcomed the move. Jocelyne Underwood from the Manchester International Festival, said:
In the creative sector there is a huge will to do apprenticeships but very little experience. This fund should spur the market on as a catalyst.”