The government has rolled out a new apprenticeship scheme that seeks to force companies to pay more to train new workers. The CECA (Civil Engineering Contractors Association) said they had concerns that this new system could result in companies paying more to train apprentices, in some cases companies could be paying twice to train the same apprentices.
Alasdair Reisner said this could actually cause the fall of apprentices potentially interested in joining the construction industry. The CECA chief executive discussed his fears about the future of apprentices in the construction industry.
If forced to follow this new initiative, companies will be less inclined to hire apprentices who will require more training, time and investment. It will become less affordable and less profitable for companies to train or hire apprentices. Companies would have to pay into the new scheme as the recent scheme actually asks that companies hiring apprentices should also pay in the government’s apprenticeship levy fund. The company would have to also pay thousands in additional training costs that will not be covered by the fund.
The current system has the government contributing nearly £2bn to support apprentice training. The employers are expected cover the remainder of training costs. The new system will see this support removed for companies whose annual pay bills are over £3m. The new scheme requests that they pay 0.5% into the levy fund for apprentices.
The apprenticeship type will be banded with maximum limits on what can be spent on each type of apprenticeship, contractors fear limits are lower the amount it actually costs to train certain types of construction apprentices. Stating that companies will have to food the extra cost. Early indication from the government are actually causing major concerns for industry professionals, the government are pushing the limits down to a point where it is no longer a viable option for most companies to invest time, money and effort into training apprentices.
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