National Apprenticeship Week 2021* took place from 8 - 12 February. We want to make sure that FMB members have all the information they need to fully explore the benefits of taking on an apprentice and providing them the training they need to grow into a future asset to the construction sector.

Apprentices are the future of the construction sector, and SME construction businesses have a proud history of training and supporting new entrants into the sector through apprenticeships.

Take a look below for more information if you’re interested in strengthening your workforce for the future through hiring an apprentice.  

*In Scotland, Scottish Apprenticeship Week took place from 1 - 5 March 2021.


How to train an apprentice

We spoke to David Smallcombe and Charlie Braidwood of FMB member company David Smallcombe Ltd about their commitment to train the next generation of construction professionals. We also spoke to apprentice Harry Castle about the highlights of his apprenticeship experience so far. 


Where can I find information about construction apprenticeships? 

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

CITB is the industry training board in England, Scotland and Wales, and its purpose is to support the construction industry to attract talent and support skills development. CITB is the main training provider for the construction industry in the UK, and all construction businesses are required by law to register with the CITB.

CITB Northern Ireland (CITB NI)
CITB operates separately in Northern Ireland as CITB NI, which is a strategic partner of CITB.

CITB Levy payments 
CITB charges a ‘levy’, which is imposed on employers in the construction sector that are ‘engaged wholly or mainly in construction industry activities’. The levy amounts are calculated on a company’s total wage bill and some exemptions and reductions apply for small employers.

Grants and training 
CITB provides a wide range of grants and funding to support training needs within the construction industy, and also provides access to training courses. In addition to funding support, CITB training advisers help businesses to determine their training needs and then access support and funding available to them to deliver training.

CITB support services
In addition to providing grants and training courses, the CITB offers a wide range of support services and resources related to training and skills for construction businesses. Other services include e-learning, card checks (e.g. CSCS cards), HS&E tests, short courses, and events. The CITB also publishes information on industry training standards and frameworks. 

Learn more about how CITB supports the skills needs of the construction sector in the UK. 

England

Other industry resources 
  • Cross-industry Construction Apprenticeship Taskforce (CCATF)
    The CCATF is a cross-industry initiative designed to increase apprenticeship training within the industry by encouraging and supporting employers to take on apprentices. CCATF supports greater collaboration among industry peers and stakeholders and also provides employers with information on the benefits of employing apprentices. 
  • London Progression Collaboration
    The LPC offers fully-funded apprenticeship support to businesses in Greater London with undertaking the practical steps to take on apprentices
  • Leeds College of Building
    The Leeds College of Building is the UK’s only specialist Further Education construction college, and it provides a recruitment service to employers looking for apprentices.
General information
  • Apprenticeships.gov.uk 
    Through this website the Government provides information to employers on how to find a training provider, advertise available apprenticeship positions and access funding. You can also access information about the benefits of hiring an apprentice. 

Northern Ireland

Other industry resources 
General information
  • NI Business Info 
    NI Business Info provides information for employers who are planning to take on an apprentice and deliver work-based training. 
  • NI Direct government services
    NI Direct also publishes general information on apprenticeships in Northern Ireland for both employers and those wanting to start an apprenticeship.

Scotland

Other industry resources 
General information
  • Apprenticeships.scot 
    The Scottish Government website, which provides information on general apprenticeship support including how apprenticeships are funded, who delivers training in Scotland, the role of employers and how to get involved.
     

For the latest information on construction apprenticeships in Scotland, please contact FMB Scotland Director Gordon Nelson

Wales

Other industry resources 
  • Shared Apprenticeship Schemes
    In Wales there are two Shared Apprenticeship Schemes - Cyfle Building Skills in the South West and Y Prentis in the South East. 
General information
  • Careers Wales
    Careers Wales is a government website that provides general information on apprenticeships including information on associated costs, recruitment incentives, where to advertise an apprenticeship vacancy, and how to access support schemes. 
  • Welsh Government
    Welsh Government also provide details on how to recruit an apprentice.

 

What financial support is available to help businesses train an apprentice? 

UK-wide support schemes

  • Shared Apprenticeship Scheme
    The Shared Apprenticeship Scheme allows employers to take on an apprentice for a short duration with no commitment to employ the apprentice at the end. There are currently 10 schemes running across Great Britain. The scheme is supported by CITB, which is investing £1million into the scheme.

England

Ongoing financial support schemes 
  • CITB Apprenticeship Grant on Approved Apprenticeships
    This grant covers off-the-job attendance with an approved Apprenticeship training provider, achievement of an apprenticeship and apprenticeship frames for apprentices who start before 1 August 2020. You can only apply for grants for directly employed individuals.
    Attendance grant (for starts from 1 April 2020): £2,500 per year.
    Achievement grant: £3,500 on successful completion.
  • Government support for non-levy payers
    Employers pay 5% towards the cost of training and assessing an apprentice. The Government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum, which will be paid directly to the training provider.
Covid-19 financial support for apprenticeships and training
  • Support with hiring a new apprentice
    The Government is providing incentive payments to employers who take on a new apprentice. For new apprentices hired from 1 February 2021, employers have between 1 February 2021 and 30 April 2021 to apply. Employers will receive £2,000 for employing apprentices aged between 16-24, and £1,500 for employing apprentices aged 25 and over. Employers can spend it on anything that supports the organisation’s costs (e.g. uniforms, apprentice’s travel or their salary). 

Northern Ireland

Ongoing financial support schemes 
  • CITB NI Grants 
    Businesses registered with CITB NI can claim £6,500 for a fully employed apprentice over a three year period.
  • Apprenticeships NI - Employer Incentive Payments
    Under this programme, payments are made to employers whose employees successfully complete their Level 2 and/or Level 3 apprenticeship framework. Incentives range from £250 to £1,500 depending on the level of complexity of the apprenticeship and the age of the apprentice.
Covid-19 financial support for apprenticeships and training
  • Apprenticeship Recovery Package
    To support businesses in Northern Ireland, the Department for the Economy is providing recovery packages, which include: 
    • Return, Retain and Result scheme - to help businesses return their apprentices from furlough. The scheme provides a maximum of £3,700 per apprentice.
    • Recruiting new apprentices - providing support to businesses employing a new apprentice. Businesses can apply for a maximum of up to £3,000 for each new apprenticeship opportunity created between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021.
    • Apprenticeship Challenge Fund - to encourage creative problem solving and greater collaboration between employers and suppliers. The fund closed to new applicants in October 2020.

Scotland

Ongoing financial support schemes 
  • CITB Apprenticeship Grant on Approved Apprenticeships
    This grant covers off-the-job attendance with an approved Apprenticeship training provider, and achievement of an apprenticeship. You can only apply for grants for directly employed individuals.
    Attendance grant (for starts from 1 April 2020): £2,500 per year.
    Achievement grant: £3,500 on successful completion.
Covid-19 financial support for apprenticeships and training
  • Apprenticeship Employer Grant
    The grant is offered by Skills Development Scotland to support businesses through the pandemic to hire someone new or develop an existing employee’s skills. Up to £5,000 is available for employers hiring or upskilling people aged 16-24, or those aged up to 29 who have a disability, are care experienced or are from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. Up to £3,500 available for employers taking on or upskilling people aged 25 and over. Apprenticeship start date must be on or after 1 December 2020.
  • Adopt an apprentice
    The Adopt an Apprentice scheme offers funding of up to £5,000 to employers adopting an apprentice that was made redundant. The programme rules are available here.

For the latest information on the financial support available to help businesses train an apprentice in Scotland, please contact FMB Scotland Director Gordon Nelson. 

Wales

Ongoing financial support schemes 
  • CITB Apprenticeship Grant on Approved Apprenticeships
    This grant covers off-the-job attendance with an approved Apprenticeship training provider, and achievement of an apprenticeship. You can only apply for grants for directly employed individuals.
    Attendance grant (for starts from 1 April 2020): £2,500 per year.
    Achievement grant: £3,500 on successful completion.
Covid-19 financial support for apprenticeships and training
  • Jobs Growth Wales 
    This initiative by Careers Wales, encourages employers to take on and train unemployed young people aged between 16-24 years. Welsh Government will meet up to 50% of the cost for the first six months at National Minimum Wage.
  • Apprenticeship Recruitment 
    The support package by Business Wales offers incentive payments for employers taking on new apprentices aged 16-24, employing apprentices aged 25 and over, re-employing apprentices who have been made redundant, and employing disabled people. Applications for support expire on 28 February 2021.

 


What other funding and support is available for training? 

Schemes are not necessarily wholly related to apprenticeships.

KickStart Scheme

  • KickStart Scheme
    The KickStart scehem provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit. Funding covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week for a total of six months, associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. Funding also covers £300 per placement to cover admin costs and £1,500 per placement for employers to cover set up costs. More information here.

CITB funding schemes

  • CITB funding schemes for skills and training
    • Skills and training fund for small and micro-sized businesses (1 - 9.9 employees)
      Funding to support businesses to address skills gaps, introduce new ways of developing the work force and using training to support the business (e.g. management skills). Businesses can apply once every 12 months and funding is based on number of employees: 
      • £5,000 for 1 - 49 employees.
      • £7,500 for 50 - 74 employees.
      • £10,000 for 75 - 99 employees.
    • Skills and training fund for medium-sized businesses (100 - 250 employees)
      Funding to support businesses to address skills gaps, introduce new ways of developing the work force and using training to support the business (e.g. management skills). Businesses can apply once every 12 months and funding is based on number of employees: 
      • £15,000 for 100 - 149 employees.
      • £20,000 for 150 - 199 employees.
      • £25,000 for 200 - 250 employees.
    • Qualification grants including short-period qualifications (less than one year), long-period qualifications (more than one year), work experience grants and Specialist Applied-skills programme grants.
    • Short course grants for course that last from three hours to 29 days and are focused on core construction skills.

Talent Retention Scheme

National Skills Fund

  • National Skills Fund
    The National Skills Fund supports adults aged 24 and over who want to achieve their first Level 3 qualification. Courses will be varied and will include qualifications in building and construction. Funding for providers is yet to be announced.
    • Lifetime Skills Guarantee backed by the National Skills Fund 
      From April 2021, adults will be able to gain new skills through free courses. Almost 400 fully-funded courses will be on offer, including courses on plastering, bricklaying, painting and decorating and more. The scheme also includes courses for school and college leavers. ​​​​​​


Inspiring the next generation 

Become a Construction Ambassador

Become a Construction Ambassador

Do you want to inspire others to pursue a career in construction? Join the CITB's Construction Ambassador programme to engage with young people through careers fairs, presentations and workshops.

Sign up today

Become an End Point Assessor

Become an End Point Assessor

Industry professionals who wish to mix up their “on the tools” work with apprenticeship assessments are encouraged to become an End Point Assessor to help ensure an apprentice’s competence is assessed to the highest industry standards.

Find out more about the role


As each devolved nation runs a different system to recruit and train assessors please contact the FMB in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to find out more.


How the FMB supports apprenticeships  

  • Training Group
    The FMB Training Group is comprised of members who are passionate about training the next generation to tradespeople to a high standard. Its purpose is to promote and encourage educational and training projects within the construction industry, with a particular focus on apprenticeships and how to attract new entrants into the industry. Representatives from the Department for Education and CITB also contribute to this group.
  • Trailblazer Group
    Acting on the findings of our recently published Trading Up Report, the FMB is in the process of setting up a Trailblazer Group, to work alongside The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education with an aim to establish a multi-trade apprenticeship. 
  • Trading Up report
    Published in 2020, the FMB's Trading Up report outlines a blueprint for how industry bodies can work in partnership to scale-up current levels of training among the UK’s domestic workforce. Read the Trading Up report
  • Skills and training campaign 
    FMB Directors in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales engage with local members and policy makers to support construction apprenticeships. Find out more about our campaign to make it easier for SMEs to take on apprentices, and to provide training for their existing workforce.

Want to become an apprentice? 

There are many great reasons to pursue a career in construction and apprenticeships provide a helpful path into the industry. If you're considering becoming an apprentice, you can check out the resources below to take your first step towards a new career.  

 

Construction apprenticeships

GoConstruct

GoConstruct is managed by CITB and provides detailed information about careers in construction and guidance on the next steps to take if you're looking for a construction apprenticeship.

General information on apprenticeships 

Apprenticeships.gov.uk 

Apprenticeships.gov.uk provides information on everything you need to know about becoming an apprentice including how to choose the right apprenticeship for you, what are the benefits, and how to apply. 

How to find an apprenticeship near you

 

Got a question?

Speak to our policy team on 020 7025 2934 or send us an email.

Email policy team

 

Related topics