Our Director, Mark Scott, was fortunate to meet with Stuart Andrew MP to discuss the effect of the apprenticeship Levy on shared apprenticeship programmes and futures for local young people and skills in small businesses.
Stuart Andrew is the MP for Pudsey, Horsforth & Aireborough is a staunch supporter of local jobs and businesses and pledged to raise the concerns in Parliament with a question to the Minister on 14th November.
The result is that the Minister of State for Apprenticeships & Skills, the Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, has agreed to meet with Mr Andrew and ourselves. Date to be confirmed.
This is fantastic news for the local apprentices and businesses we support now and into the future. Our thanks go out to Mr Andrew.
If you would like to listen to the question it is at 57.09 on the following podcast.
Relating to this issue, Mark Scott commented:
“Futureworks (Yorkshire) Community Interest Company has supported over 200 local young people to access apprenticeship opportunities that would not be available without the shared apprenticeship programme, with over 100 to date have entered full time employment opportunities. Our primary focus is working with micro and SME’s and recruiting in local communities to provide a local solution to skills shortages and building positive futures.
“With the Directors combined 83 years’ experience working in skills, employment and construction, we know the construction sector is one of the most effected by current and future skills shortages. The nature of work is marked by short duration assignments that make up the project overall limiting young people’s access to quality and sustainable construction opportunities. It is not unusual to have 12 week mini projects.
“For example, Kirkstall Forge, whilst it is a 10-15 year development, will be made up of multiple phases, lasting in the order of around 12 -18mths. Micro and SME work packages will be substantially less and this often impacts on their ability to provide long term opportunities for young apprentices, particularly those young people from a diverse background and social mix.
“Overall this influences apprentice recruitment through traditional methods since a typical apprenticeship lasts 2-3 years. Clearly a mismatch in timescales and ultimately opportunity, Futureworks (Yorkshire) a social enterprise in essence offers the shared apprenticeship programme to provide a sustainable local solution.
“Shared apprenticeships services (SAS) should not be confused with Apprentice Training Agencies (ATA) as SAS have a clear differential being firmly focused on being demand led, not tied to a specific college and have the future of both the individual and industry at the forefront.
“Without shared apprentice services projects, such as Kirkstall Forge, would not be able to support the high number of local apprentices that they would like to.
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to providing more apprenticeship opportunities and the concept behind the apprenticeship levy but feel they have not considered the effect it will have on shared apprenticeship programmes operating as social enterprises in this space.”
[Photo: Stuart Andrew MP – source twitter.com]