UCATT raises concerns about "work experience" apprenticeship

Construction union UCATT have raised strong concerns that an organisation that has been endorsed by the CITB has been offering apprenticeships which requires the successful candidate to undertake unpaid work experiences.

UCATT officials were recently alerted that Evolve Apprenticeships which operates Shared Apprentice Schemes were advertising for an Apprentice Scaffolder in Barking & Dagenham. The successful applicant would initially have to complete two weeks of unpaid work experience.

UCATT are also very concerned at the level of safety associated with the position. The working conditions state; “The apprentice must be able to work at heights” and “the work involves a lot climbing, carrying and lifting of heavy equipment.” This is despite the fact that only qualified scaffolders should work at height.

UCATT are also concerned that the apprentice will only be working towards an “NVQ 2 Framework” rather than the fully qualified Level 3 award.

UCATT has written to William Burton the Interim Chief executive of the CITB to express their concerns about Evolve Apprenticeships and to request that his organisations ceases to endorse them.

Andy Rudd, UCATT Regional Organiser in the London and South East Region, said: “As an industry we are crying out for apprenticeships but young workers must not be exploited, apprentices must not be placed in danger, and they must be given the opportunity to become fully qualified. The CITB should not be endorsing organisations which fail to meet these standards.”

UCATT are highly concerned about the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme which allows apprentices to be moved between different employers, rather than be attached to a single employer which is the case with a traditional apprenticeship. UCATT believes the SAS has major implications for the quality and consistency of training as well as reducing the safety of apprentices.

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