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All things Apprenticeships

Traditionally the word “apprenticeship” conjures up images of a young person, fresh out of education, looking to undertake their first role within the wonderful world of work.

Fast forward to 2020 and the word “apprenticeship” means something that’s so much more than what it once did. For example, anyone aged between 16 and 64 can undertake an apprenticeship, giving them the tools to not only further their knowledge of their chosen sector, but to also gain competence and confidence, through a mix of blended “on” and “off” the job training.

OK, we know what you’re thinking, “off the job training means an apprentice being away from site”. Not true! “Off the job” training (which accounts for 20% of the overall training programme), can be done on-site and can include things like shadowing another team member, learning about a new piece of kit or plant and gaining a better or further understanding of the site. As long as the activity being undertaken is not part of the apprentice’s usual list of duties/responsibilities, it can count towards their “off the job” training quota.

An apprenticeship is a brilliant way of upskilling team members which in turn, has a beneficial impact on the site as well as its output. Who wouldn’t want a helping hand in making a site more productive or more efficient?

Now we’ve talked about what an apprenticeship can do, the next question on most people’s lips is “how much will it cost me”? The good news is, all employers who pay over £3million in wages, will already be paying into a pot, called the “Apprenticeship Levy”. The purpose of this pot is to set aside money to support anyone wishing to take up an apprenticeship, so there is no direct cost implication to the site itself. Only the business as a whole.

If the site is owned by a smaller business, who pays less than £3million in wages, then it’s the business who only have to pay a total of 5% of the overall cost of the apprenticeship programme. The rest of the money is then paid by the Government, again making an apprenticeship, the most cost-effective way of upskilling a workforce.

The best part of an apprenticeship within the extractives sector, is that a Site Manager will not be expected to hold the hand of an apprentice as they are already sufficiently skilled and competent, to carry out their existing role. The apprenticeship programme is an ideal training platform for those who want to progress in their career and who want to take the next step up the ladder, to bigger and better opportunities.

The site gains an upskilled team member (or more), and the team member(s) gain the knowledge, skills and behaviour, needed to grow into their next role. Everyone’s a winner!

So, to finish, apprenticeships in the extractives sector are not for the young and inexperienced, they are for anyone who wants to progress, who want to improve and who want to reach their full potential, in an industry that actively encourages them to do so.

For more information about apprenticeships and what they can do for your site, please contact Catherine Brogdale, MP Skills Apprenticeship Lead on Catherine.brogdale@mpskills.co.uk. If you have any apprenticeship related questions, Catherine will be more than happy to answer those for you too.

 

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