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10 Feb 2022 < Back

Apprenticeships: Delivering real value to employers and employees

This week, we were delighted to welcome our 9th cohort of apprentices back to the PCA, especially as its National Apprenticeship Week. For those of you that are PCA members or regular readers of our news/blogs, you will know that we (the PCA) are big supporters of apprenticeship programmes. It's part of the reason why we continue to invest in apprentices ourselves and why we have a specialist apprenticeship programme for contractors. We do appreciate however, that some of you may not necessarily see what an apprenticeship can offer, what it costs, the time and investment needed and what it may entail? With a well documented skill shortage within the construction industry and many contractors/organisations struggling to recruit, apprenticeships may just be the answer many of us are looking for!

Are apprenticeships worth the time & investment?

So what are the measurable benefits of an apprenticeship and how will it translate into delivering real value to both your business and the employee? Well, apart from the obvious and well publicised benefits such as filling skills gaps, increasing productivity and improving staff retention; hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way to grow talent and to develop/motivate your workforce.  In a study by the National Apprenticeship Service:

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service

From our personal experience over the last 8 years of both running an apprenticeship programme, and continuing to invest in apprentices ourselves, we have seen talent grow and skills come into fruition leading to many apprentices becoming highly valuable members of staff.

So let's talk about money and funding…

From a financial point of view, there has rarely been a better time to consider investing in apprenticeships. Lets face it…most business decisions are driven by ‘return on investment’. When you start to factor in incentives and funding such as CITB's Skills & Training Fund (which can allow up to £25k for large businesses and up to £10k for SMB’s), plus their new Travel to Train funding initiative; in terms of a ‘return of investment’…the numbers do start to make sense!

Apprenticeships are the future to help our industry

At the PCA, we continue to invest and value our specialist apprenticeship programme and we are working hard behind the scenes to maintain funding for all. As we enter into our 7th year of apprenticeships, we have seen over 70 apprentices undertake this dedicated training to set them up with a Level 2 NVQ qualification within the industry. In addition, we are continuing to invest in apprentices ourselves with our third and latest apprentice (Harry) joining the Association three months ago. We believe that to help tackle the continuous skills and recruitment gap within the construction and property sectors, these apprenticeship programmes are at the forefront of preparing the industry for the future. We urge all employers to consider and see the benefits to both themselves and their employees.

Don’t just take our word for it…see for yourself

For those of you who may not yet be convinced, why not click on the videos below to hear the views on apprenticeships, from both apprenticeship trainer Neil Marsden, who has helped develop many of our apprentices over the years, and also, one of our current Damp & Timber apprentices... [section background="#ffffff" max_width="1600" margin="0px 0px 0px 0px" border="0px none 0" color="#000000" text_shadow="0px 0px 0px 0"] [row] [column size="1/2" padding="5px"] [youtube_embed embed_url="" autoplay="no" mute="yes" title="PCA Apprenticeships - Interview with an Apprentice"] [/column] [column size="1/2"] [youtube_embed embed_url="" autoplay="no" mute="yes" title="PCA Apprenticeships - Meet the Trainer"] [/column] [/row] [/section] [section background="#ffffff" max_width="1600" margin="0px 0px 0px 0px" border="0px none 0" color="#000000" text_shadow="0px 0px 0px 0"] Neil Hartley, Training Consultant at Timberwise sums up the benefits our apprenticeship has afforded the company: “We fully support the PCA Apprenticeship programme and have sent employees on both their Timber/Damp and Waterproofing Apprenticeship Schemes. The knowledge and experience that the employees receive from these apprenticeships is unrivalled and from our employees point of view, they found the whole experience very enjoyable and beneficial. The knowledge and experience that they bring back into the workplace provides a very healthy return on our investment in the apprenticeships and bolsters our commitment in the training and personal development of our employees" [/section] For those looking to find out a bit more, you can visit the current 'National Apprenticeships Week hub where there is event planned for the week and beyond. There is (of course) lots of information you can find out about the specialist PCA apprenticeship programme too. Simply click on the buttons below to view.

National Apprenticeship Week >>

Specialist Apprenticeship Programme >>

We are here to help if you have questions

We understand that it can be overwhelming and confusing to know exactly what is involved with apprenticeships and what funding is available. We are happy to help. Our training team have assisted many companies with completing the forms and obtaining the right funding, and we will continue to offer this invaluable support moving forward. If you feel apprenticeships may be a way to help your business, then please do get in touch on 01480 400000 or contact us online. We are happy to help in any way we can…

Contact Us >>

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