Sectors including the creative, agriculture and construction industries can bid for funding to support the creation of flexible apprenticeships, unlocking opportunities for people in England to develop skills and secure employment.
The Government wants employers across all sectors to make full use of apprenticeships and reap the benefits they bring to individuals and businesses. However, non-traditional and project-based employment models have made it harder for employers to engage with apprenticeships. To overcome this challenge, a new fund has been created to support the development of flexi-job apprenticeship agencies.
These new agencies will be the apprentice’s employer for the duration of their apprenticeship while placing the apprentice with other host employers for short-term placements. This will enable apprentices to move between businesses as they complete their apprenticeship, while remaining employed throughout by the agency.
Grant funding totalling £7 million is now available to support the start-up, development or diversification costs of the new agencies, or existing Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATAs) that wish to become a flexi-job apprenticeship agency in England. Organisations can apply for between £100,000 and £1 million each.
Sector bodies and groups of employers are eligible. The scheme is targeted at industries that cannot offer a long-enough placement with a single employer for apprentices to meet the Government’s minimum 12-month duration requirement. Applicants must have been actively trading for at least 12 months at a registered UK business address. They must be able to provide evidence of strong links with sectors, professions and/or geographies relevant to the apprenticeships their apprentices will undertake.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
‘I’m thrilled that apprentices and employers in freelance industries such as film and TV can start to benefit from our new flexi-job apprenticeship scheme as part of our Plan for Jobs.
Together, we’re creating exciting new opportunities for apprentices and employers – harnessing the skill and talent of today for the jobs of tomorrow.’
The deadline for applications to be submitted is Wednesday 6 October 2021 (12:00 BST).