Delivering apprenticeships through public sector procurement
There is a rapidly ageing workforce in construction and as many as 400,000 workers are set to retire in the next five to ten years. Training the next generation of apprentices to take their place is essential.
Mark Robinson, Scape, Group Chief Executive
The Crown Commercial Service manages procurement for central government, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies. From September 2015, procurement of any contract worth over £10 million will require a clear commitment to creating apprenticeships, as part of the government’s drive to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.
The new rules are great news for young people looking to gain skills that can lead to high-quality long-term jobs, and it will help to meet the country’s skills shortage. In construction and built environment services, a major area of public sector procurement, there is a rapidly ageing workforce and as many as 400,000 workers are set to retire in the next five to ten years. Training the next generation of apprentices to take their place is essential.
We already know that the public sector can do so much more on apprenticeships and skills in construction and we, together with our partners, are committed to doing so. One of our partners, Kier, has committed to creating apprenticeships on every project worth over £1million, which is well in excess of the Crown Prosecution Service’s new regulations.
Across our suite of frameworks with industry-leading partners, this year we will be supporting an estimated 200 apprenticeships on public sector projects, many of which will be projects under £10million. As our frameworks develop and our offer grows, Scape will continue to provide high-quality and stimulating apprenticeships that engage young people and offer a broad experience.
But creating the next generation of skilled construction workers is not just about providing apprenticeships – we should seek to inspire young people while changing perceptions about the construction industry in general. That’s why we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of providing school, further education and university visits that would reach 1000 students each month – that’s 12,000 young people in 2015 alone.
Every Pound spent on new buildings should seek to have a wider social impact – training the next generation, supporting and enriching communities and getting best value for the taxpayer.
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