4 August 2020
Apprenticeship schemes and talent retention
Kimberley Murphy of the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium has voiced her concerns over Rishi Sunak’s training and apprenticeship schemes in her Infrastructure Intelligence opinion article here. She comments that whilst the Government’s support for apprenticeship schemes is welcome – there may be trouble down the line.
In the summer economic update on 8 July 2020, Rishi Sunak announced a £2,000 grant to businesses for each young apprentice hired, a £1,500 grant for apprentices aged 25 or above and a £1,000 bonus for every apprentice employee who returns from furlough. But as Kimberley writes, will organisations retain apprentices after the funding runs out after 2021 or will this investment lead to a larger pool of skilled workers? Elsewhere, the £2bn kickstart scheme will give a £6,500 grant to employers who hire a young person currently on universal credit for a six-month work placement, but could this impact upon apprenticeship numbers?
The Government’s Construction Talent Retention Scheme (which you can read about here) and a recently launched Redundancy Support Service for all sector apprentices at risk of redundancy (see here) are useful services to maximise options for staying within the construction sector. These schemes may help to protect against hard-hitting redundancies that may arise as the furlough scheme comes to an end. However, for the construction industry, it will also be important for companies to build a future workforce, as the looming threat of Brexit also puts skilled labour at risk. Mark Naysmith, CEO of WSP in the UK has recently made a public pledge to invest in young and emerging talent, and this aligns with areas of focus for many players within the construction sector. At IMS we believe that designing a strategy around protecting and developing the construction workforce will be a key consideration for strategic thinking.