City & Guilds and the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force (CCATF) have joined forces to bring a new approach to apprenticeships in the UK construction industry, ensuring that it has the skilled people it needs both now and in the future.

The collaboration between the two organisations comes at a crucial time for construction ahead of the launch of the new apprenticeship levy in April 2017. It also precedes the forthcoming exit from the European Union - which is likely to bring new challenges to an industry that often relies on overseas workers.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, managing director of City & Guilds said: “The UK construction industry is at the very backbone of UK PLC as it provides the buildings and infrastructure the country needs to thrive. However, the sector is often beset by skills gaps and desperately needs more skilled staff to enable it to meet the growing demands of the country. Following the introduction of the levy in April apprenticeships will undoubtedly be even more crucial to meeting the skills needs of the sector.

“City & Guilds are therefore delighted to announce a very timely alliance with CCATF which will build on the great work they are already doing to develop and promote apprenticeships and drive up standards in the sector over the coming years, boosting their efforts to building the world class construction workforce of tomorrow.”

The collaboration between the two organisations seeks to tackle key issues relating to the new construction apprenticeships from grant/funding bands through to the provision of end point assessments and will support construction organisations large and small across the UK.  

The alliance will also deliver support for major contractors and SME’s across a range of areas such as supply chain intervention, pathway to construction and one-to-one engagement, as well as regular, quality updates, information, advice and guidance. 

Martyn Price MBE, chairman of CCATF said: “At a time when many construction firms are coming to terms with the reality of a new apprenticeship landscape it is essential that there is co-ordinated support available. With the planned changes, large numbers of organisations in the SME construction sector may become more confused and unsure about apprenticeships and the potential cost and benefit implications. The partnership should offer more certainty and reassurance to stabilise future apprenticeship commitments.”

“Bringing capabilities together as this agreement does is a fantastic boost for our industry and the organisations, from small to large. We are confident this approach will elevate the work we do to new levels and contribute to supporting the government target of 3 million apprentices. 

“Given this announcement it is with no small amount of optimism that we move into 2017 well positioned and well equipped to make a significant contribution to the skills and apprenticeship agenda within the construction sector.”