Howdens increases apprenticeships to tackle industry job shortages

The trade kitchen supplier has partnered with EN:Able Futures CIC to provide a flexi-job apprenticeship service that will allow more apprentices to join the construction and housing industry.

Howdens has run its own internal apprenticeship scheme for more than 10 years. This new partnership will transfer some of its apprenticeship levy to EN:Able Futures to support the creation of many new apprenticeships. The levy share will create more apprentices than they were able to previously.

In a second stage of the scheme is created to encourage and support Howdens’ trade customers to recruit and train its apprentices with a specific focus on kitchen installation.

Jo Blackham, learning and development manager at Howdens said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce our partnership with EN:Able Futures. Our hope is that by transferring some of our levy we can help to increase the apprenticeship opportunities within the construction industry and also provide an easier route by which our customers can introduce apprentices to the trade industry and nurture their skills, we can do our bit in supporting the trade industry by easing current pressures due to trade skill shortages.”

Julie Deeley, director of operations at EN:Able Futures, said: “Our distinctive Flexi-job Apprenticeship Service offers businesses a flexible way to take on new apprentices. Our dedicated Apprenticeship Managers provide high-quality 1-to-1 employment as well as academic and pastoral support to every apprentice and we believe this is the reason why 98% of our apprentices who complete their training go onto full-time employment or other higher education.

“As the nature of the future employment market evolves in the post-pandemic world, it’s important to recognise the positive impact that employability support provides in creating employees who have the confidence, experience and qualifications that the UK construction sector needs.”

The pilot scheme is said to work to bridge the gap between supply and demand, the scheme will offer Howdens’ customers the information and support they need to develop and employ apprentices through one of two routes. The first will be through direct employment and the second through shared employment between the customer and EN:Able Futures.

EN:Able Futures Flexi-job Apprenticeship Service employ both trade and technical apprentices in the construction, housing and civil engineering sectors, providing support to apprentices and the companies hosting them. This ensures that most of their apprentices succeed in their chosen careers, with 98% who complete their training going straight into full-time employment or higher education. Since 2013 EN:Able Futures has employed 410 apprentices, worked with 110 different host companies and partnered with 43 colleges and training providers.

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