£7m government scheme to fund flexible arts apprenticeships

Hattie Fisk
Monday, August 9, 2021

The government’s new £7 million fund will ensure theatre employers can offer more flexible project-based apprenticeship opportunities in England.

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Confirmed by the Department for Education (DfE) on 3 August, the government is creating a new funding pot that will support apprenticeship programs in sectors that offer more project-based employment, such as in the creative industries, digital and construction. 

The government is creating the fund to tackle the lack of opportunities for project-based employment, offering a number of ‘flexi-job apprenticeships agencies’ to ensure opportunities are accessed. 

Currently government-funded apprenticeship programmes span at least 12 months, meaning applicants in these sectors have struggled to gain funding. Instead this scheme will span a range of projects to ensure individuals gain experience from multiple employers and roles. 

Employers will be eligible for increased financial incentives when hiring apprentices, and organisations who wish to set up new apprenticeship agencies will be able to bid for between £100,000 and £1 million from the fund. 

Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan said: ‘Our flexi-job apprenticeships will unleash exciting new opportunities in sectors such as the creative industries and construction where employment is increasingly flexible and project-based, while also helping larger organisations to grow starts in their supply chains, levelling up chances for people to build the life they want.’

Kath Geraghty, workforce development manager at the National Theatre, said: ‘Flexi-job apprenticeships will enable a wider range of employers in the sector [to] take on apprentices, broaden the experience of each apprentice and prepare them to work in a sector where freelancing and project-based work are the norm.’