Businesses bidding for public contracts (i.e. with central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies) with a full life value of £10 million or more and a duration of at least 12 months will, in most cases, have to provide evidence of their commitment to developing and investing in skills in performance of the contract in question, and in particular their commitment to the creation of apprenticeships, under the contract. This commitment is then to be included in the contract.
The government Action Note 14/15 of 27 August 2015, which applies to procurements advertised on or after 1 September 2015, expects contractors to aim for 3-5% of the workforce to be apprentices, sponsored students and/or on graduate programmes, with a focus on apprentices, with 5% representing a ‘gold standard’. Construction is considered more likely, by virtue of workforce numbers and the type of work undertaken, to offer greater opportunity for apprenticeship creation.