Apprentices

Making apprenticeships work in the roofing industry

Sue Husband

Sue Husband

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people of all ages with the skills that employers need. They provide the opportunity, and the means, to help address the skills shortages reported by many industries. This is especially true in the roofing industry, where apprenticeships play a vital role in helping employers grow and prosper. At a time when major national infrastructure projects are taking place, and with the rise in renewable energy increasing demand for skilled labour, apprenticeships can help roofing, cladding and insulation businesses become future-fit by upskilling existing workers and attracting new talent to the industry.

Opportunities for employers
There has never been a better time to take on an apprentice. Businesses can grow their own talent and develop motivated, skilled and qualified staff in a cost-effective way in line with their workforce needs. Now, employer-led apprenticeship reforms are making apprenticeships even more valuable to employers by putting those employers in control of the development of apprenticeships. Employers can choose the skills, training organisation, apprenticeships – and how those apprenticeships are delivered – to ensure they meet their needs.

Apprentices bring enthusiasm, energy and fresh ideas to any employer, contributing to its development and success. As well as encouraging people into a diverse range of roofing careers from a young age, apprenticeships also encourage skilled workers to progress their careers in the industry too. They offer jobs with real prospects that enable people to gain the essential skills they need for their career, with opportunities ranging from roof slating and tiling, to sheeting and cladding, to industrial thermal insulation.

Meeting employer needs
Many roofing, cladding and insulation employers have already made apprenticeships a vital part of their strategic plans to recruit the skills they need in the future. But there is of course lots more work to do to ensure that apprenticeships work for all employers across these important specialisms. We are working with employers to ensure that their needs are met, while helping them attract the right talent and boost the quality of candidates applying for apprenticeships. We’ve already launched a programme, “Amazing Apprenticeships” to help inform teachers and schools about the benefits of young people becoming apprentices, and we will be working with key employers in construction to drive further awareness of the great vacancies on offer through waves of marketing under the “Get in Go Far” campaign.

High quality
Since the Apprenticeship Levy and other reforms were introduced last year, there has been a period of significant change for employers and there will understandably be challenges for them as they adjust and respond. Throughout this time, we must not lose sight of why we introduced our reforms in the first place – to put quality at the heart of this programme for apprentices, and putting control in the hands of employers. Feedback we have had shows that employers are positive about the reforms and taking their time to plan high quality, well thought through apprenticeship provision that meet their specific needs.

Since May 2015, there have been more than 1.2 million individuals starting an apprenticeship, which will provide each of them with the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get on in life. This is a fantastic achievement, but only the start as we want to make sure all roofing, cladding and insulation employers have the skilled workforce they need.

Employers looking to take on an apprentice should visit: www.hireanapprentice.campaign.gov.uk

People looking for more information and support on applying for an apprenticeship can visit: www.getingofar.gov.uk

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