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#NAW2016 – Create your own apprenticeship

There’s no doubt that apprenticeships in the construction industry have traditionally been associated with the trades and supply chain that keep the industry moving.

In fact, if you look at the press surrounding #NAW2016 this week, you’ll see some great stories on how contractors and developers have made a major difference to the employability and job opportunities for the UK’s workforce.

But, as a consultant, apprenticeships have always been something that’s a lot harder to get our head around. On our current Project Management and Quantity Surveying framework, we’ve worked with Scape to try and address this, but finding the right apprentice for the right professional role has been difficult.

Times are changing. In 2014, the government opened up the opportunity for employers to be placed more firmly in the driving seat to develop their own apprenticeships, aligned to specific sector or discipline needs. That means there’s absolutely no excuse for any organisation not to consider apprenticeships as part of their overall recruitment and staff development programme.

Jo Morrish

The government’s trailblazer scheme allows likeminded businesses to group together and submit proposals for sector-aligned apprenticeships. The scheme has seen new standards created across professional services including accountancy, business management, financial services and surveying.

Allowing employers to apply for and develop apprenticeships suited to their needs will result in a higher take up and ultimately open up more opportunities within the UK job market. Broadly, the process begins with submitting an expression of interest and, if the apprenticeship is approved, the trailblazer group develops the standard, the end point assessment plan and proposed funding structure, allowing it to be aligned specifically with career progression structures in that industry.

It really does mean that if there isn’t an apprenticeship that meets your businesses requirements, you can work together with other organisations to create your own.

The opportunity to help develop new standards is one that Pick Everard has grasped with both hands. We’ve been lucky to be part of the trailblazer for the new bid and proposal co-ordinator apprenticeship standard, working with the bid and proposals professional body APMP UK, Strategic Proposals and a wide range of employers, including Lloyds Banking Group, Capita, Vodafone, Kent County Council and Aviva.

With a mentor provided by BIS, we’ve worked together to develop a new standard which will guide apprentices into a career in bid and proposal management, a key part of the construction industry and an integral part of the Pick Everard business.

Over the coming months we’ll be working with the group to develop the end point assessment plans and supporting information needed to make the standard accessible to the widest possible market. And we’re already looking to see how best we can support future trailblazers to attract new talent into our own business as well as our clients’ businesses.

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Written by:

Jo Morrish

Director of HR and Training, Pick Everard

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