Builders back rise in grant funding for apprenticeships

SCOTTISH builders have backed a funding boost announcement for construction apprenticeships.

The Scottish Building Federation has welcomed the news that from April 1, the Construction Industry Training board (CITB) will increase attendance grants to employers to £2,500 per year and that achievement grants will rise to £3,500 for companies where an apprentice successfully completes their training.

For a four-year apprenticeship in Scotland, this provides a 30% increase in funding, rising from £10,250 to £14,500.

SBF president Stephen Kemp, managing director of Orkney Builders, said, “A 30% increase in grant funding for construction industry apprentices is hugely welcome and provides an important incentive for employers to take on more apprentices to help meet the current and future skills requirements of the industry.”

SBF managing director Vaughan Hart added, “At a time when the Scottish construction industry is facing the growing challenge of an ageing workforce and a shortage of suitably skilled workers to address identified skills gaps, SBF members will be very pleased to see a commitment from CITB to additional funding for construction apprenticeships. We want to see that commitment matched by on-the-ground support from CITB here in Scotland to encourage more young people to consider a career in construction and attract more fresh talent into the industry.”