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A blueprint for successful Built Environment Professional Apprenticeships

Posted: 18th July 2023

Released today by University College of Estate Management (UCEM), in partnership with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), the report identifies and examines the measures needed to enhance the retention, continuation and success of built environment apprenticeships, especially at higher technical and professional levels.

The report captures insightful discussions from UCEM’s inaugural ‘INSPIRE’ event. Senior representatives from employers and academia were joined by experts from professional and statutory regulatory bodies to discuss the barriers to effective apprenticeships and propose potential solutions for positive and sustainable change. The report’s recommendations include:

  1. Stakeholders should engage with the development, and sharing of, better-informed careers information, advice and guidance, representative of the wide variety of technical and professional occupations on offer.
  1. IfATE working in partnership with employers, training providers and professional institutions, needs to continue to make improvements to apprenticeship development, to create a responsive and sustainable system owned by IfATE and supported by the CLC People & Skills workstream.
  1. The apprenticeship levy must be reviewed to ensure it continues to drive forward investment in apprenticeships, their successful outcomes, and to be open to other uses, including to better support high-quality apprenticeship delivery and assessment.
  1. The funding rules and regulation of apprenticeships need wholescale simplification and rationalisation, with recording and reporting on the priority outcomes for apprenticeships: a competent workforce that is trained well, prepared for future skills adaptations, is retained, and is productive.
  1. The Government needs to define a more inclusive apprenticeship accountability framework which reports and recognises broader measures of success to capture a broader evidence base to enhance the apprenticeship system.
  1. The CLC, working in partnership with the CIC, must be supported in its aspirations to influence government to promote and deliver improvements focused on the higher technical and professional careers in the sector; and to raise the profile of apprenticeships.

Aled Williams, who led the INSPIRE event and is CIC Chair Education and Future Skills, CLC Routes into Industry Lead alongside UCEM Executive Director of Innovation and Partnerships, commented: “We need to continue to attract, train and retain the talent valued by this sector to enhance the capability of our current and future workforce. Professional apprenticeships must reflect, and be responsive to, the demands of employers and providers who, with the professions, seek to assure that apprentices receive a positive experience in order that successful outcomes are achieved. The desire to work collaboratively is there, but Government must listen and act upon these key recommendations.”

CIC Chief Executive, Graham Watts OBE, added: “CIC support the recommendations in this report and would like to see Government and the built environment sector work collectively to create a more coherent and responsive apprenticeship system. We must ensure that our apprenticeship system supports the diverse needs of our workforce, promotes professional recognition and delivers the competencies required for a sustainable and safe built environment."

Read the report here.