Tackling the skills shortage: Screwfix to fund training for trade apprentices

Screwfix, the omnichannel retailer, has launched a brand-new scheme which will fund the training of construction trade apprentices, in a bid to help tackle the skills shortage and encourage more people into the trade.

Screwfix undertook extensive research among both apprentices and tradespeople, which revealed the costs associated with an apprenticeship are a significant barrier preventing many from becoming an apprentice or hiring one. Following this insight, Screwfix has developed a scheme to provide the much-needed financial support.

In a first for Screwfix, the company will cover the cost of the training for apprentices looking to start a career in the trade, working in partnership with Flexi-job Apprenticeship Agency, TrAC. TrAC will match individuals with an employer, from plumbing and electrical apprentices, through to landscaping, painting/decorating and other skilled trade professions. Throughout the apprenticeship, both the apprentice and employer will receive on-going support and guidance, alongside receiving financial support from Screwfix.

Jack Wallace, Marketing Director, Screwfix, said: “The skills shortage in construction is well documented, and as a national trade retailer, we want to champion careers in the trade as we proudly showcase our nation’s skilled trade professionals and the benefits of a career in the construction industry.

“We recognise the industry needs more apprentices, so to understand more about the specific challenges facing apprentices and tradespeople seeking to hire one, we listened to what they had to say and how we can support. This scheme is an initial step in helping tradespeople to take on an apprentice, and apprentices to start a career in the trade by overcoming one of the biggest challenges they both say they face – the cost of training.

“We’re delighted to launch our pilot scheme and we hope to encourage and support many more individuals into the trade industry.”.

Since 2015, Screwfix has been championing apprentices through its annual Trade Apprentice award, which celebrates and profiles the best rising stars in the industry and shines a light on the great opportunities and rewarding career on offer in the trade.

Madeline Buxton, Business and Finance Manager from TrAC, said: “TrAC is delighted to partner with Screwfix to deliver this exciting service which helps local contractors to support an apprentice.”

The pilot scheme will initially be available to apprentices in Cambridge, Norfolk, Peterborough, Corby, Kettering, Leicester and surrounding areas, with the aim to roll this out across the UK in 2023. To find out more on how Screwfix can support you to kickstart your career in the trade, or hire an apprentice, click here. Reference ‘Screwfix’.