FMB calls for more apprentices to ‘turbocharge’ sector’s recovery


CONSTRUCTION apprenticeships are needed to ‘turbocharge’ economic recovery, according to a study by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The FMB’s report Trading Up looks at the barriers SME employers face to delivering apprenticeships and upskilling existing staff.

Fey findings revealed that 68% of master builders are either currently training an apprentice or have done so in the past. Of these, 85% train and recruit 16 to 18-year olds, while 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 ring-fence funding for colleges to recruit an Industry Liaison Officer who will create and foster relationships with local employers;
  • 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, chief executive of the FMB 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 added, “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.”