By: Pramod Thomas
THE UK on Tuesday (20) launched a new consultation seeking views on how the new ‘flexi-job’ apprenticeship could be run to help more people gain the skills they need.
The flexi-job apprenticeship schemes would enable an apprentice to work across a range of projects and with different employers to gain the full skills and experience they need to complete their programme.
Sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles such as agriculture, construction and creative including TV, film and theatre production have found it challenging to create enough opportunities as apprenticeships are at least 12 months long.
With this consultation initiative, these sectors will soon be able to offer more flexible apprenticeship opportunities, a statement said.
It will be supported through a new Skills Accelerator programme which will help build stronger partnerships between local employer groups, such as Chambers of Commerce, colleges and other providers to make sure communities are getting training needed to meet local skills gaps.
In July employers will be invited to bid for a share of a £7 million fund to create and test these schemes, with the first approved flexi-job apprenticeships expected to start in January 2022.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Our flexi-job apprenticeships will boost opportunities in sectors like the creative industries where employment is often flexible or short term – creating even more chances for people to experience the life changing opportunity an apprenticeship can bring as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Chancellor of the cxchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “The new flexi-job scheme will create more opportunities for apprentices across England, giving them the hope, skills and experience to progress their career and drive our recovery from the pandemic.”
Alongside, the flexi-job apprenticeship consultation and new Skills Accelerator, work is ongoing with businesses of all sizes to support them to offer more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities, the statement added.
“I believe flexible apprenticeship schemes are critical for the future of our industry. Apprenticeships not only grow our skills base and expertise, but open up the industry to people from a wide range of backgrounds,” said Tim Davie CBE, director-general of the BBC.
Stephen Page, executive chair at Faber & Faber said: “The Creative Industries Council is pleased with the ongoing discussions with DfE over finding and implementing flexibilities to the Apprenticeship Levy, to enable our dynamic sector to engage with the vital Apprenticeship programme.
“This consultation on portable and flexi-apprenticeships is a welcome part of that process, and we would urge interested parties across the Creative Industries Sector to respond and help guide this next step in the process.”