Fifteen organisations have been announced as the first flexi-job apprenticeship agencies.
The agencies will act as employers for up to 1500 apprentices who, over the course of their apprenticeship, will be able to work within several different companies. The scheme has been designed to increase apprenticeship opportunities in the creative, digital and construction sectors where short term employment models are more prevalent.
A £7 million competition was launched in August to find organisations that can develop “up to 2000” flexi-job apprenticeship opportunities.
The Department for Education have announced today that “up to £5 million” will be shared among ten of the 15 new agencies. The remaining five organisations have been admitted to the register, but won’t receive a grant. See below for the full list.
The proposed number of apprenticeship opportunities now set to be created through this part of the flexi-job apprenticeship scheme has also been revised down from up to “2000 to up to 1500.”
FE Week has asked the DfE to explain the shortfall, but they did not respond at the time of going to press.
The BBC and the NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit are among the organisations that will receive a grant to set up their flexi-job apprenticeship programmes.
BBC director general Tim Davie said: “The importance of growing skills and introducing fresh, diverse talent has never been greater than it is today. It is the perfect time to be launching the BBC Apprentice Hub in Birmingham. We are working closely with local creative businesses to give apprentices from across the West Midlands the skills and experience they need to thrive in this exciting industry.
Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies will replace apprenticeships training agencies (ATAs) which, until 2018, could be set up to deliver a similar function. Remaining ATAs have now been advised that they will need to join the register of flexi-job apprenticeship agencies when the application window next opens.
The agencies will have responsibility for recruitment and employment of the flexi-job apprentices as well as sourcing placements lasting at least three months with a series of employers. Apprentices must still complete the minimum duration required by their apprenticeship standard.
The government expects the first flexi-job apprentices to begin their first job placements by the end of this month.
The secretary of state for education Nadhim Zahawi said: “Gone are the days when apprenticeships are restricted by a one-size fits all approach.
“Through our dynamic post-16 reforms, we are investing directly in people, delivering prestigious and flexible apprenticeships which suits learners’ needs.
“New flexi-job apprenticeships will not only help to deliver the skilled workforce needed to support a diverse range of sectors to grow, but it will create even more exciting opportunities for people to secure a great career.”
A separate flexi-job apprenticeship pilot was announced in January. Unlike this model, where apprentices are employed by an agency, the second route will involve “portable” apprentices finding their own job placements with the support of their training provider.
|Register of Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies
|Receiving a grant
|British Broadcasting Corporation
|Evolve Apprentices Limited
|Inspira ATA Limites
|McGinley Support Services Limited
|NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit
|The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry Limited
|Training and Apprenticeships in Construction Limited
|Careers Ladder Limited
|EN: Able Futures CIC
|HR Provider Limited
|Nottingham College Services
|South East Centre for the Built Environment