Apprenticeships offer flexible, but structured training, which give you a variety of theoretical and practical workplace skills.

Anyone can become an apprentice – whether you’ve just left school, want to change your career or are returning to the work environment after a career break, apprenticeships are suitable for everyone.

But did you know apprenticeships can be extremely flexible too, to best suit your own learning and development needs?

We all learn in our own way and at different paces, so construction apprenticeships can be flexibly tailored in a couple of ways:

  • How your apprenticeship training is delivered, known as flexible training models
  • Reduced length of an apprenticeship where an apprentice has existing relevant knowledge or skills, known as accelerated apprenticeships.

Let’s take a look at both to see which may suit you.

What are flexible training models?

All apprentice training is split between an employer and training provider:

  • On-the-job training – delivered by an employer to equip the apprentice with the hands-on experience to perform their role
  • Off-the-job training – delivered by a training provider to give the apprentice the required knowledge, skills and behaviours for the job.

All apprenticeships must involve at least 20% off-the-job training, which is usually completed at a college.

However, there is great flexibility available with how the two types of training can be split and delivered. There is no set way of delivering training for any apprenticeship – different training models can be used, adjusted to best suit the needs of the employer and apprentice. Some commonly used flexible training models include day release, block release and front-loading.

Day release

Day release training involves time in the workplace frequently interspersed with off-the-job training - for example, a small portion per day or once a week. This is one of the more commonly used training models and allows for more regular contact between the apprentice and training provider, as well as seamlessly fitting around the day-to-day job role.

What are the benefits?

  • Builds knowledge, skills and behaviours more gradually
  • Gives apprentices regular contact with other full-time learners, building your communication and wider employability skills
  • Regular training is complemented by frequent practice in the workplace.

Block release

Block release is similar to day release, but involves longer periods in the workplace followed by more concentrated periods of off-the-job training – for example, one week every month. This provides more intensive bouts of on-the-job training which can help build a closer working relationship with your employer.

What are the benefits?

  • Extended periods in the workplace allow apprentices to develop more in-depth workplace behaviours
  • Concentrated periods of study help apprentices focus on academic study
  • Often easier to become embedded in the wider workforce.


Front-loading helps apprentices to hit the ground running with an extended block of off-the-job training at the start of your apprenticeship, before any practical work experience has begun. Following this, block or day release can be used. The intensive training delivered up-front helps to embed some of the core elements of the job early on, leading to apprentices entering the workplace more prepared.

What are the benefits?

  • You are already well prepared for the role when you start working with your apprenticeship employer
  • Apprentices learn many of the vital safety aspects before stepping on site
  • You can potentially complete your apprenticeship earlier.

Go Construct also has a handy guide covering all the benefits of construction apprenticeships - check it out.

That’s flexible training models covered – lets take a look at accelerated apprenticeships.

What are accelerated apprenticeships?

Accelerated apprenticeships are ideal for anyone who already has some relevant experience and skills. This can come from previous work or life experiences, and crucially, isn’t limited to formal qualifications. If you’re a career changer, this could be the right option for you.

Accelerated apprenticeships decrease the length of an apprenticeship by three or more months.

How do they work?

Minimum requirements of an apprenticeship must still be met – it must last at least 12 months and consist of at least 20% off-the-job training.

At the start of all apprenticeships, training providers and employers complete an initial assessment, providing you with a starting point for your learning. Your existing skills, behaviours and knowledge are assessed, and any you already have do not need to be repeated during the apprenticeship.

This is called prior learning – by taking it into account, the duration of the apprenticeship can be reduced. This benefits the apprentice and employer alike. 

What are the benefits?

  • Removes unnecessary duplication of training – you don’t have to learn the same thing twice
  • A great option for those looking to retrain or upskill
  • As long as the apprenticeship still lasts at least 12 months, there is no limit to the reduction of its duration
  • Greater flexibility makes apprenticeships a better option for more experienced and skilled workers
  • Some apprentices benefit from formal recognition of their prior learning, building their confidence in their new role.

Interested in taking advantage of the flexibility of a construction apprenticeship? Start your apprenticeship journey today.

More information

The flexibility of apprenticeships doesn't end there - there's also flexi-job apprenticeships, where you complete your apprenticeship with multiple employers.  

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