Home News Construction apprenticeships should focus on SMEs

Construction apprenticeships are needed to turbocharge economic recovery, according to new research published by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and delivery should focus on training through SMEs.

The FMB’s report Trading Up looks at the barriers small to medium-sized (SME) employers face to delivering apprenticeships and upskilling. It presents a blueprint for collaboration to unlock additional training opportunities.

The report articulates that the solution to the construction skills crisis is better collaboration. That means working together to encourage more young people into construction through apprenticeships, and to support the small to medium-sized (SME) businesses in construction that undertake most of the industry’s training.

Key findings reveal that 68% of Master Builders are either currently training an apprentice or have done so in the past; and of these, 85% train and recruit 16 to 18-year olds. It continues by revealing that 40% of completed apprentices will stay working for the SME company who trained them for at least three years.

The report makes a series of recommendations, which include:The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to scale-up construction SME-targeted advertising as part of the ‘Fire it Up’ campaign; the Department for Education should ringfence funding for colleges to recruit an Industry Liaison Officer who will create and foster relationships with local employers; and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) should focus on improving communication with SMEs and other stakeholders on a local level and upgrade the financial and administrative support that is available to them.

Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said: “Putting local builders at the heart of apprenticeship development and training will unlock additional high-quality opportunities for young people and help Britain get back on its feet. We need an army of builders to help deliver the new homes that this country desperately needs. They will also upgrade our existing homes to make them more energy efficient and fit for purpose in the years ahead.”

Arthur McArdle, National President of the FMB and Director of Woodfield Building Services, said: “Master Builders are passionate about creating high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for the next generation. For the most part this is because builders start out as apprentices themselves. I am calling on my fellow members of the FMB to commit to training where they can.”

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