Trade body calls for ‘decisive and timely’ action on apprentice numbers


THE Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned that the year-on-year decline in construction apprenticeships threatens the UK’s ability to ‘build back better’ from Covid-19.

Responding to new data on apprenticeships and traineeships, released by the UK Government’s department for education, FMB chief executive Brian Berry called for ‘decisive and timely action’ to reverse the ‘sharp fall’ in construction apprentices.

He added, “3,500 fewer apprenticeships started is not a record to be celebrated as we approach National Apprenticeship Week, and as construction seeks to do its bit to build back better. The Government must act urgently on the reforms set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper, and give employers a greater voice in determining local skills needs, while strengthening links between employers and colleges.

“As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and implement the UK’s new points-based immigration system, skills and training in key sectors, such as construction, should be at the forefront of policy makers’ minds. As local builders train 71% of apprentices in the industry, they must be at the heart of plans to bring in the next generation of tradespeople, in a sector already facing a well-documented skills shortage.”