From Wednesday 14 May, the new Construction Apprenticeship Hub, run through ongo’s Crosby Employment Bureau, will match up young people with an interest in construction to local small and medium sized businesses in North Lincolnshire.
Already, local firms, including Clugston Construction, G S Kelsey Ltd, Britcon Ltd, Sword Construction and Woodworks Ltd, have given their backing to the scheme, which is also supported by North Lincolnshire Council and the Federation of Master Builders.
Mick Lochlan, Deputy Principal of North Lindsey College said: “The College has lots of young people that are committed to working in construction and the industry itself recognises there is a skills shortage so this innovative scheme will go a long way to solve these problems and be mutual beneficial for all.
“Small and medium-sized businesses very often do not take on apprentices in the construction sector as contracts can be short term and companies can not commit to taking on an apprentice for a year or more.
“Using the services of Crosby Employment Bureau, as an Apprenticeship Training Agency, an employer can take on an apprentice for a short period of time. The agency acts as the employer and secures placements during the complete apprenticeship period.
“This route could particularly appeal to micro businesses which would not normally be able to consider taking on an apprentice. The long term aim is to provide small businesses with the skills to grow and for individuals to secure employment with a construction company past the apprenticeship period.”
Crosby Employment Bureau, which has recently become part of ongo, will work with North Lindsey College over the next two years to support construction companies to take on apprentices.
Jan Williams, Community Investment Manager with ongo, said: “We are so excited about this scheme and hope to place at least 20 young people into apprenticeships in the first year. For any periods where an apprentice cannot be placed with an employer, we will place them in community projects and similar environments where they will be able to continue their work experience as part of the apprenticeship. The partnership is committed to funding their wages during this time.
“We will also be promoting other funding available to employers and helping employers access these funds.”
Marcus Walker, Assistant Director, Planning and Regeneration at North Lincolnshire Council said: “We’ve got some of the biggest development plans in the country and it’s really important local people have the chance to gain skills and thousands of jobs available in the area.”
The Regional Growth Fund has just introduced a grant of £3,000 for employers but applications need to be submitted before the end of August this year. There is also the National Apprenticeship Service Age Grant, Jobcentre Plus Wage Incentive and other funding potentially available.
The scheme was announced to local employers at a breakfast event at North Lindsey College on Wednesday 14 May 2014.
If you’d like to join this free membership scheme where you’ll be able to access grants, training and apprentices contact The Business Development Team at North Lindsey College on 01724 295363.
Jan Williams – Crosby Employment Bureau, Marcus Walker – North Lincolnshire Council, Mick Lochran – North Lindsey College, Pete Stones – Ongo, Chris Carr – Representing Federation of Master Builders