Whitechapel firm scoops government contract to keep apprenticeships going in face of coronavirus threat
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A Whitechapel company has landed a major government contract to redeploy the region’s displaced construction apprentices at risk of losing out on their careers because of Covid-19.
Evolve, Whitechapel Road, has been chosen as the London regional delivery partner for the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) national scheme to support shared apprenticeships.
It comes after 60 per cent of building firms surveyed said they would take on fewer apprentices at the next intake later this year.
Deborah Madden, CITB head of apprenticeships, said: “CITB is committed to doing everything to retain apprentices displaced as a result of Covid-19 within the sector and to limit the impact on their training.
“We’re delighted to be working with Evolve, who will bring a wealth of experience at this difficult time.”
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About half of construction’s 11,000 apprentices across the country are furloughed. Usually, apprentices work for one employer throughout their training, but at present this may not be possible.
As a result, CITB is investing £1million in schemes to place apprentices with different construction companies, providing a range of experience and skills while allowing employers to continue supporting apprenticeships through short-term placements.
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Evolve, working with apprentice employers, can help with displaced apprentices, offering them employment for the rest of their apprenticeship, as well as mentoring, liaising with colleges and managing payroll and HR responsibilities.
Sapphire Yete, an apprentice building services manager helped by Evolve, said: “Being female going into a male-dominated industry is very daunting.
“Recent changes to society have changed the stereotypes in the construction industry for the better and I have the support of Evolve and Wates Group who are keen to help me succeed.”
The shared apprenticeship schemes are expected to support about 250 apprentices a year across Britain, many with the small and medium sized firms which make up 98 per cent of the construction industry.
Many contracts construction employers work on include Section 106 planning permission requirements to employ local apprentices.
Shared apprenticeship schemes can help with this through recruitment and in directly employing and supporting apprentices through their training.
Further CITB measures to support construction apprentices and their employers include job redeployment services, channelling funding to a new employer to help apprentices complete their training and an apprenticeships app.