As part of our drive to increase recruitment and skills, we have produced guidance for employers looking to take on apprentices and trying to comprehend the different options available, the continually changing rules and funding regimes.

With the joinery industry sitting between construction and manufacturing, there are several different routes that employers can take when looking to employ an apprentice.

Most apprentices are on day-release at a local college, completing a bench joinery apprenticeship, but other options are in-house apprenticeship training and furniture woodworking qualifications, which often suit more manufacturingbased companies’ activity. These attract the same funding from government and from the CITB-ConstructionSkills grant scheme.

In some cases, it may suit the business and the individual not to do an apprenticeship, but complete an NVQ through an On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) programme. For example, the BWF’s OSAT programme offers a bespoke training package delivered on the company’s premises and brings the individual through to qualification. It can be completed in a timeframe that suits the pace of the learner and the business. Furthermore, there are grants available for older learners as well as 16-18 year olds.

Funding can be sourced from central government, devolved administrations, local authority initiatives and from CITBConstructionSkills. It’s a minefield that we’ve tried to decipher for employers so they can concentrate on their business and keep recruitment simple.

Our guide for employers in England is available on our website and the devolved nations will have specific guidance shortly.

This is part of a wider initiative to reach out to potential apprentices through social media and get the current workforce qualified.

TTJ Industry Updates are a forum for trade bodies to address key issues.