What are flexi-job apprenticeships and how to make apprenticeships work in your sector

In sectors where flexible or project-based working are the norm, flexi-job apprenticeship agencies will bridge the gap to help employers realise the benefits of apprenticeships for their business.

Apprenticeships are at least 12 months long, so some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles – such as in construction and creative industries –have found it challenging to take full advantage of them in the past.

The government’s new flexi-job apprenticeship scheme will put an end to this by allowing people to complete short placements across several businesses during their apprenticeship, opening up a new training route to a career in these industries.

The government has awarded almost £5 million to support employers including the BBC and NHS to offer the flexi-job apprenticeship scheme and support recruitment.

The organisations act as the official employer for apprentices, covering administration and other tasks, with the learners moving around a series of businesses through the duration of their apprenticeship.

The agencies will recruit and employ apprentices and place them with host businesses to work on range of exciting projects, so they gain the skills and experience in previously untapped industries including film and television, healthcare, construction, and engineering.

Organisations currently include the BBC, ScreenSkills, which works with Netflix and Warner Bros, the NHS and civil engineering specialists McGinley Ltd – all offering apprentices a unique opportunity to build experience across a range of sectors in the coming months.

Flexi-job apprenticeships are available to employers and apprentices in two ways:

a. With the involvement of a Flexi-job apprenticeship agency: where an agency employs the apprentice directly for the duration of their apprenticeship but arranges placements for the apprentice with host businesses

b. Without the involvement of an agency: where the apprentice is able to secure multiple short employment contracts directly with businesses that support the requirements of the apprenticeship. Supported by their training provider, the apprentice takes their learning and progress with them as they move between employment contracts (perhaps with a gap between each) and change employers. This model is often described as a portable flexi-job apprenticeship

Join the Register of Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agencies

Applications for new organisations to join the register opened on Friday 28 April 2023. Applications must be submitted no later than 10am on Wednesday 31 May 2023 via the Department for Education eTendering Portal.

The DfE have no plans to open another application window after this period. Therefore, any organisation who wants to deliver apprenticeships via a model where they place apprentices with host employers for the majority of their apprenticeship, must apply before 31 May 2023.

For starts on or after 1 January 2024, only organisations on the Register of Flexi-Job Apprenticeship Agencies will be permitted to start new apprenticeships which follow this delivery model. Anyone who facilitates this type of apprenticeship after this date, who is not on the register, will be in breach of the apprenticeship funding rules.

The guidance for applicants provides further details on the application process. There is also a webinar on Tuesday 9 May 2023 for prospective applicants. To register your interest for this webinar, please email FlexiJob.AGENCIES@education.gov.uk.

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