From education to employment

An Employer’s Guide to Flexi-Job Apprenticeships

Sheila Flavell

In this article, Sheila discusses the benefits of Flexi-job apprenticeships to businesses that have a non-standard employment model and are looking for top talent. Flexi-job apprenticeships improve social mobility, create opportunities for those who want to pursue their dream career and help to close the digital skills gap.

As organisations struggle to equip themselves with digitally skilled staff, research has revealed that 82 percent of advertised openings require some level of digital skills. They must consider alternative ways of finding digital talent.

Flexi-job apprenticeships give individuals the chance to pursue their dream careers without any previous experience or qualifications, giving businesses the opportunity to actively help improve social mobility across the UK.

The Flexi-job apprenticeship scheme operates on a short-term basis and helps businesses with non-standard employment models work with top apprentices across different industries.

Recent government data has shown that apprenticeship starts were down by 3.5 percent compared to the previous year. This shows the need for businesses to introduce more accessible apprenticeship opportunities like the Flexi-job apprenticeship scheme.

What is a Flexi-job apprenticeship?

Flexi-job apprenticeships are also referred to as portable apprenticeships, as they essentially offer employers a greater level of flexibility with shorter contract lengths.

They provide apprentices with the opportunity to pursue a career of their choice without having previous qualifications or experience, giving them the chance to work and learn from multiple organisations.

Due to the flexible nature of the Flexi-job apprenticeship scheme, non-standard employers only commit to a three-month contract, reducing commitment and investment. This gives apprentices the opportunity to equip themselves with digital skills such as data analysis as they transition into the workplace.

What are Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies?  

Flexi-job agencies train apprentices and arrange placements with multiple employers. These agencies will act as longer-term employers of apprentices.

While a host business is only committed to short-term contracts with a

Flexi-job apprentice, Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies will be considered as their consistent employer, helping candidates land roles and experiences which best suit them and the business.

Businesses with non-standard employment models can then rely on these agencies to supply apprentices for these temporary placements.

This is a great route for graduates to break into sectors such as technology and develop their skills to thrive in the workplace. In turn, businesses get access to new digital nomads that can help them thrive in a technology driven economy.

What are the benefits of Flexi-job apprenticeships?  

There are several benefits for businesses to employ Flexi-job apprentices, like having the opportunity to work with top apprentices with a reduced commitment.

Unlike the usual 12-month contract with traditional apprenticeships, the Flexi-job apprenticeship only requires a commitment to a minimum three-month contract. Some examples of sectors that would benefit from this flexible contract type would be the technology, creative, digital, energy and financial services sectors.

Alongside this, research has shown that 36 percent of all job vacancies in 2022 were

skill-shortage vacancies, which has increased by 14 percent since 2017. Flexi-job apprenticeships help to directly address this gap as this scheme is accessible to a wider range of businesses.

The scheme allows businesses to discover promising candidates within a wider talent pool and enrich their teams with new and valuable perspectives, without having to make a large investment.

Improving social mobility is a driving factor for the success of Flexi-job apprenticeships. By hiring through a Flexi-job agency, organisations can actively improve the career prospects of individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Due to the short-term contract, candidates are given the opportunity to learn new skills and experiences within different industries and roles. These candidates are likely to become versatile professionals with an abundance of skills to offer.

How to hire a Flexi-job apprentice

Organisations can find Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies through the register of Flexi-job apprenticeship agencies, which provides a full list of trusted organisations that offer these services.

The register is segmented by region, with organisations like FDM supporting businesses across the whole of England. It is suggested that businesses contact agencies directly to start a new apprenticeship in order to fil short-term resource requirements or a specific gap in skills.

Overall, Flexi-job apprenticeships help businesses that have non-standard employment models find capable candidates who get to pursue their dream careers, while improving their social mobility and closing skill gaps across industries.

By Sheila Flavell CBE, COO of FDM Group

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