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National Apprenticeship Week 2019 (4th – 7th March) has officially kicked off with both employers and apprentices across the country highlighting the great opportunities apprenticeships can unlock.

With the construction industry in the grip of a skills shortage the recruitment of new talent through apprenticeships is crucial for the uptick of construction activity. The Chartered Institute of Building have suggested that in the UK, 157,000 new recruits will be needed by 2021 to satisfy demand.

The Government has introduced the apprenticeship levy for England in 2017 to address this skill gap and others like it across a variety of sectors. For this scheme eligible businesses pay into a levy fund from which they can withdraw digital vouchers to pay for training apprentices. Apprenticeships are available across the UK but in areas other than England different funding streams are utilised.

Saint-Gobain has made great use of the apprenticeship levy fund with over eight different types of apprenticeships now on offer for employees. These range from engineering to digital marketing with apprenticeships in IT, procurement, supply chain and HGV driving also in the pipeline. At the moment the majority of participants are current employees looking to upskill. For example, the Leadership and Management Apprenticeship is particularly popular for staff aspiring to management level roles.

Apprenticeship Leader for Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, Chloe Warner said, “Apprenticeships are a great way for you to learn and develop new skills, no matter what stage you are at in your career. There are so many different programmes available to suit all aspirations – you can even do a master’s degree-level apprenticeship.

“These new programmes create opportunities for both yourself and the business. Our business and the industry around us are transforming, so it’s essential that we have the right skills and knowledge to ensure we are well equipped for the future.”

For the individual, the business and the economy, apprenticeships provide a variety of benefits, from an enhanced skill set, retained talent and development of new skills.

Natalie Whelan, Brand, Digital Community Executive for Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, is currently enrolled on a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, “I actually did a degree in Biology and was working for Saint-Gobain in HR before moving over to Communications. Saint-Gobain are really unusual in that they recognise your transferable skills rather than just restricting you to areas where you have experience which is really refreshing.

“My Digital Marketing Apprenticeship is great, it’s highly practical and will qualify me to receive a Chartered Institute of Marketing diploma once finished. I’d recommend joining Saint-Gobain to anyone because they really invest in your development.”

Tune into our live on Thursday 7th March to find out more about apprenticeships at Saint-Gobain on our Facebook page.

To find out more about careers at Saint-Gobain and available vacancies please visit our careers area.

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