ECA launches apprentice support service

A new apprentice secondment service has been launched by the trade association, ECA. The service extends ECA’s already well-established ‘loan labour scheme’ to allow employers to both loan out apprentices and hire them on a temporary secondment basis.

The necessity for businesses to loan out apprentices typically occurs for two reasons. Firstly, where the lender has a temporary shortfall in its workload, or where they have limits in the variety of work they undertake.

Both scenarios can make it more difficult for the lender’s apprentice to complete the standard apprenticeship curriculum in good time. The borrowing business can help to fill the gap and keep the apprentice working and learning. Clear learning objectives and the early involvement of the apprentice’s training provider are also essential.

ECA Director of Employment and Skills, Andrew Eldred, commented: “In these challenging times, some engineering services businesses are facing periods of time when they may struggle to find work for all their apprentices. Other firms are still busy, and are ready and able to help.

“Given the critical importance of apprentices to the future of the industry, our new apprentice support service will help ensure that temporary opportunities can be found to keep them learning and in employment.”

Research from The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership in 2018/19 found that apprentices deliver a net return to their employer of up to £57,000 within four years of joining the business.

ECA has also produced guidance and flowcharts for businesses on how to keep apprentices employed and travelling and working safely during the current climate, with more tools and support to follow in the near future.

The apprentice support service forms part of ECA’s broader ‘loan labour scheme’, which gives businesses flexibility to bring in high-quality staff without resorting to agencies.

To find out more about ECA’s apprentice secondment service, please click here.

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