Sectors including the creative, agriculture and construction industries can now bid for a share of a £7 million fund to support the creation of new flexible apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships are at least 12 months long, so some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles, such as digital, adult social care, transport and manufacturing have found it challenging to benefit from the high-quality opportunities available.
The fund will establish a small number of agencies that will set up new flexi-job apprenticeships so an apprentice can work across a range of projects and with different employers to gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to be occupationally competent. The first apprenticeships organised through these agencies are expected to start in early 2022.
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 – such as working on a home refurbishment or a project for an office block. Meanwhile, someone working in adult social care could undertake care placements with a range of employers – including home care via a care agency, and in nursing home or hospice settings.
The government have also published their response to a consultation launched in April 2021 which highlights strong support for the introduction of flexible apprenticeships as well as wider flexibilities in apprenticeships.
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.”