The Scaffolding Association has welcomed a new government service that has been launched to help businesses create more apprenticeship opportunities.
Large businesses can now pledge funds to smaller businesses through a new online service making it easier for large employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy to spend their levy funds.
These employers had previously been able to transfer up to 25% of their annual levy pot to support other employers to take on apprentices. The new service will simplify the process for employers looking to transfer funds and businesses wanting to access funding.
Figures provided to the industry trade body by HMRC earlier this month shows that businesses in the construction sector have contributed £315m in levy payments since the scheme started in April 2017 up to the end of June 2021.
Robert Candy, Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association said “The construction industry is suffering from significant skills shortages and apprenticeships can provide an excellent start for many seeking a career in the industry.”
A recent report published by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) says that 37% of the construction workforce are over the age of 50 and estimates that 217,000 workers will need to be recruited into the industry over the next 5 years.
Robert Candy added “Attracting a new generation of workers is critical but accessing funding for apprenticeships is only part of the problem. Training content must be relevant and embrace modern innovation and technology. Qualifications gained from apprenticeships must also be recognised to ensure individuals can access work upon completion.”