Insights for Organisations Apprenticeship

An Employer’s Guide to Flexi-Job Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship Team
28.03.2024 Published: 14.11.23, Modified: 28.03.2024 10:03:51

FDM is proud to be included in the government’s Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies register, acknowledging our commitment to guiding aspiring apprentices towards successful careers in technology.

As a business, you are probably aware of the ins-and-outs of apprenticeship programmes and the benefits of hiring apprentices, so how does the Flexi-job apprenticeship differ? Let’s explore this, delving into the programme in more detail, such as the benefits for businesses and apprentices, as well as how you can get involved.

What’s in this article?

Executive summary

Flexi-job apprenticeships operate on a short-term basis, providing businesses with temporary talent to fulfil skills gaps and resource needs, while giving apprentices the opportunity to gain skills and experience across work placements.

There are many benefits to Flexi-job apprenticeships, such as helping businesses with non-standard employment models find top talent, closing skills gaps within organisations and across industries, improving social mobility for candidates, and giving them the chance to learn new skills on-the-job and pursue their dream careers – without previous experience.

FDM is proud to be listed as a registered Flexi-job apprenticeship agency, providing businesses across the whole of England with top-tier, trained talent. Does this sound like the right fit for your organisation? Get in touch for more information.

What is a Flexi-job apprenticeship?

Flexi-job apprenticeships, also known as portable apprenticeships, are schemes that enable individuals to pursue a career of their choice without qualifications, allowing them to gain experience with multiple host businesses throughout the duration of their contract with an agency. Essentially, the definition is in the name, with ‘flexi’ and ‘portable’ suggesting an apprenticeship that offers employers a greater level of flexibility with shorter contract commitments. And on the flip side, apprentices also benefit from this approach with the chance to work and learn from multiple organisations.

What are Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies?

Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies recruit and employ apprentices and arrange placements with multiple employers. This new apprenticeship scheme requires these agencies to act as longer-term employers of apprentices, while host businesses are only committed to a minimum of three months.

Why would you want to hire a Flexi-job apprentice over a traditional one? Well, this model is particularly useful for businesses that want to hire apprentices but operate with non-standard employment models, such as short-term contracts. These types of businesses can rely on Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies to supply apprentices for these temporary placements.

What are the benefits of Flexi-job apprenticeships?

There are many benefits to the Flexi-job apprenticeship programme for both employers and apprentices, including the following:

  1. Helping businesses work with top apprentices with reduced commitment
  2. Closing skills gaps and shortages
  3. Improving social mobility in the UK
  4. Giving apprentices the opportunity to gain a wider range of experience

1. Helping businesses work with top apprentices with reduced commitment

Due to the flexible nature of the Flexi-job apprenticeship programme, businesses with non-standard employment models, notably fixed-term or temporary contracts, are able to benefit from top apprentices, without the long-term commitment. Some examples include in the creative, digital, healthcare, and construction sectors. Unlike traditional apprenticeship programmes, which have their own benefits for the appropriate types of businesses, the Flexi-job apprenticeship requires a commitment to a minimum three-month contract as opposed to the usual 12 months. Also due to the flexibility of this type of apprenticeship, apprentices do not receive a full-time job following completion of the programme. So, again, this reduces the level of commitment required from employers.

2. Closing skills gaps and shortages

Government data reveals that more than one third (36%) of all job vacancies in 2022 were skill-shortage vacancies, up from 22% in 2017, which shows that the overall skills gap in the UK is growing across sectors. Looking at the technology industry specifically, the numbers are much starker. In fact, a shocking 93% of UK businesses say there is an IT skills gap! So, how does the Flexi-apprenticeship address these gaps?

Hiring apprentices is known as a powerful strategy to closing the skills gap within organisations, and Flexi-job apprenticeships make this benefit accessible to a wider range of businesses. It does so by enabling them to tap into fresh talent within a wider talent pool and enhance their teams with innovative perspectives. This talent can fulfil your skills requirements on an ad hoc basis without having to make a large investment.

3. Improving social mobility in the UK

Supporting social mobility is key to encouraging candidates from all backgrounds to pursue careers of their choosing. This is not only a moral and ethical responsibility for employers, but provides many benefits, such as enhanced creativity, decision-making, and business success on the whole.

By hiring employees through a Flexi-job recruitment agency, you are actively contributing to the facilitation of social mobility within the UK job market. You are having a direct impact on improving the career prospects of individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds, giving them the chance to advance up the social ladder and reducing wealth inequalities. In turn, this will have a positive impact on the economy as a whole.

“There is an urgent need for us to address the growing disparities in social mobility in the UK, especially in this day and age as the UK strives to become a tech superpower,”

“Apprenticeships, in particular, offer an excellent way to offer more opportunities to individuals from under-represented groups to widen the talent pool, and we’re delighted to become part of the Flexi-job apprenticeship agency register to drive forward these opportunities.”

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer, FDM Group

4. Giving apprentices the opportunity to gain a wider range of experience

As mentioned above, the Flexi-job apprenticeship only requires a minimum commitment of three-months and Flexi-job apprentices typically move around multiple job placements. This means that these candidates are given the opportunity to learn new skills and experiences within multiple businesses and roles. As such, they become much better-rounded professionals with a wealth of experience to offer. They are also likely to have a thing or two to teach your teams, bringing best practices, ways of working, and knowledge from their previous placements.

Again, looking at the bigger picture, this supports closing the skills gap and improving social mobility. Apprentices are not required to have previous experience or qualifications, which means they are eager to learn and upskill, and the apprenticeship gives them this opportunity.

How to hire a Flexi-job apprentice

If you’re looking to hire an apprentice but operate on a non-conventional business model, then partnering with a Flexi-job apprenticeship agency could be the ideal solution for you. So, where do you find these agencies?

The register of Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies provides a full list of trusted organisations that offer these services. FDM included. The register is segmented by region, with FDM supporting businesses across the whole of England. It is recommended that you contact agencies directly to start a new apprenticeship.

At FDM, we recruit apprentices from diverse backgrounds and provide them with expert training, encompassing both technical and commercial skills. This ensures they fully prepare them for their work placements with you and are able to provide significant value to your internal teams.

Not to mention, our flexible contract terms means that we can provide scalable resources on short notice, ideal for filling short-term skills requirements or one-off projects. While on client sites, our apprentices are welcome and encouraged to use our wide network of training and wellbeing materials, giving them tools to upskill further and access all the support they may need.

Find the perfect candidate to fulfil your short-term resource requirements or skills gap with FDM! Get in touch for more information.