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February sees the return of the annual National Apprenticeships Week.

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With so much development happening in our industry, the call for fresh talent has never been louder. National Apprenticeship Week is ideal for both sides to see what’s available, with online and in-person events, resources, and content covering various industries.

Employers and organisations UK-wide use this week to showcase their apprenticeship opportunities to thousands of students seeking an apprenticeship across the education and careers advice spectrum, with some of the biggest names and brands on board.

Why are apprenticeships good for construction?

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way of bringing in new talent to the construction industry while providing an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals on the job. As with many industries, there is a sizeable skilled workforce and, with them, a fountain of knowledge just waiting to be shared. The knowledge gained from on-the-job learning work perfectly in tandem with the courses and study, resulting in a well-rounded and experienced talent at the end of their apprenticeship and the start of their career journey in construction. For apprentices, valuable insight and training delivered in various ways allow for all learning styles to be accommodated. The confidence built from paid, on-site experience and industry-leading study from the best in the trade can set them up for ongoing success.

Skills gaps in construction

It’s not new news that there is a significant skills shortage in our industry, partly on account of Brexit and the pandemic. And, as we mention above, there is a sizeable skilled workforce reaching retirement age within our industry that isn’t being readily replaced. Research from CITB has found that we are short of nearly a quarter of a million workers and YouGov studies show only 3% of young people are even interested in the industry, meaning there is work to be done to attract new talent. The construction industry is vital to public and private services, infrastructure, modernisation, travel and more. To keep the industry moving and the UK leading the charge globally, we need to be able to meet the demands of all these services while also aligning with the green agenda and carbon neutrality goals. It is a huge ask with no simple one-size-fits-all answer. But modernity and adaptability are critical areas for improvement and ones that can significantly do so with change. As many big organisations still lag behind with paper-based processes and the presumed toil of working outside all the time, there is little wonder that younger generations and the digital landscape they have grown up in are reticent to get out and get stuck in. But that is where our industry needs to show how they can massively contribute to the success and modernity of our services, infrastructure, building design and more. Digital, creative, and technology absolutely have their place in our industry; it’s just not always apparent to everyone else to see.

This year has seen a welcome rise in construction apprenticeships, the highest they’ve been for six years - which is fantastic and a much-needed injection of talent. But there is still a long way to go, and so education and recruitment are the first part of a long but achievable journey to get vital skills and knowledge into the front end of the career funnel in construction.

How can apprenticeships help?

An apprenticeship as a route to work is perfect for construction with its ideal mix of fieldwork and study. Learning from others on the job alone in some areas can lead to bad habits passing through the ranks, but coupled with industry-leading and accredited learning and standards, this can be avoided. Equally, classroom study alone, while knowledgeable, doesn’t give real-world practical experience. While knowledgeable, putting theory into practice can often be a whole different ball game.

Take the combination of a paid role that delivers a qualification at the end, and you have a hugely attractive candidate for the apprenticeship business or elsewhere. Working with apprentices not only helps to build their future but also secures a skilful, knowledgeable and forward-thinking future for the construction industry. Just look at the stats…

  • 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

While also…

  • adapting their training to meet the needs of the business
  • encouraging and motivating students to learn new skills
  • expanding and upskilling the workforce

Businesses can get help with funding too. A smaller employer can be eligible for as much as 100% of the apprentice training costs, and larger companies can utilise their apprenticeship levy. Either way, the scheme will help organisations determine what and how much. The Institute for Apprenticeships is a company whose main aim is to ensure high standards of learning, for the employer and the employee, so that they can both benefit from the skills they need to succeed.

Apprenticeships with Citrus Training Citrus

Apprenticeships are uniquely placed to deliver tailored apprenticeship management training directly to our sector. Our apprenticeships division has two uniquely designed courses in the construction and built environment sectors, with more programmes to come.

We have been in the education business for a long time. This year alone, we will deliver safety, compliance and knowledge courses and NVQs to over 35,000 delegates across the UK.

So why do people train with us?

  • Our bespoke programmes have built-in NVQs. Our apprenticeship programmes have been designed with industry front and centre. Each Apprenticeship has been purposely mapped against a relevant construction NVQ. As a result, delegates will finish their programmes with their apprenticeship qualification and an NVQ, funded by the business apprenticeship levy / co-investment.
  • Progression. Delegates training with Citrus Apprenticeships can apply for either a CSCS Gold or CSCS Black Card, depending on their Apprenticeship/NVQ level at the end of their programme, providing real-world progression and a truly positive start to their career.
  • Expert training. On average, our trainers have over 20 years of industry experience. Experts in their field and the highest quality educators, they understand both the company's needs and those of the delegates.
  • Consistent support and advice. Citrus’ dedicated Apprenticeship Division provides expert and dedicated support to employers. From the beginning of the onboarding process, we allocate dedicated Programme Managers as key contacts throughout the apprenticeship programme, providing guidance and support across all areas relating to apprenticeships.
  • Flexible start dates. As the UK’s Trusted Training provider Citrus delivers training all year round. Learners and employers no longer need to start their programmes within the academic calendar.
  • Citrus Training is an Approved RoATP Provider. This register moderates the quality of apprenticeships and assures learners and employers. We can also directly draw down funding for our programmes from an apprenticeship levy fund, making it hassle free for both learners and employers.
  • Access to online resources, 24/7, 365. Available on desktop or via the mobile app, our online learning system allows learners to access their resources on the go, submit assessments, track programme progression, and log off-the-job training. Employers can also use the same system to track the progress of their learners and access reports. It’s easy to use and keeps everyone up to date in the process.
  • Rated as ‘Excellent’. Don’t just take our word for it. Our ‘excellent’ rating by employers who continue to hire and train through us means everything. You can see more feedback here.

Nurturing Leadership: Supervisor and Management Apprenticeships in Construction
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The construction industry is a dynamic and complex sector that demands skilled leaders to ensure projects are executed efficiently and safely. In response to this need, supervisor and management apprenticeships have become a pivotal avenue for developing capable leaders within the construction workforce. This article explores the significance of apprenticeships in construction, particularly focusing on supervisor and management roles.

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