New analysis from Direct Line for Business reveals the decreasing popularity of construction and trade apprenticeships.
The organisation has found that construction and trade apprenticeships made up just 7% of all apprenticeships last year, down from a high of 12% in 2006.
While the number of total apprenticeships has increased by 57% in the last ﬁve years to 434, 630 during 2013/14, only two construction and trade-focused apprenticeships rank in the top 10 (construction skills at 9th and industrial applications at 10th). This is vastly different to 2006/07 when construction skills apprenticeships topped the table, with more than 20,000 apprenticeships undertaken in this ﬁeld.
“With fewer people in apprenticeships there is a risk of creating a skills gap that will affect businesses and consumers alike.”
Additional analysis suggests that the number of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), Scottish V ocational Qualifications (SVQs), Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) and Qualification and Credit Framework Qualifications (QCFs) awarded between 2013 and 2014 fell by 14% from 5,443,000 to 4,684,000.
The number of NVQs/SVQs achieved in the UK has decreased sharply over the last four years from 1million in 2009/10 to 44, 000 in 2013/14. In line with NVQs/SVQs, the number of VRQs achieved
in the UK also decreased from 2.1 million in 2009/10 to 190,000 in 2013/14. Additionally, Qualifications in Construction, Planning and the Built Enviroment made up only 5% of all qualifications in 2013/14 (232,200 out of 4,684,000).
Nick Breton, Head of Direct Line for Business, said: “Construction and trade-based skills are vital to the UK economy. It’s tradespeople who come to the rescue when our boiler fails, and are the ones who are working every day to build homes, offices and help improve our roads.
“Apprenticeships are important for budding builders, plumbers and electricians to get into the workplace. With fewer people in apprenticeships there is a risk of creating a skills gap that will affect businesses and consumers alike. The introduction of the new £3 billion apprenticeship levy in the Government’s Autumn Statement and the promise of three million new apprenticeships across the UK is a positive move, which we hope will make it easier for SMEs to ensure that they have access to skilled young workers.”
Last year a poll from RatedPeople.com suggested that young people are failing to apply for apprenticeships because they feel there is more focus in the UK on securing an academic qualification. Over half (53%) admitted to dismissing the trade industry in pursuit of a more academic career path. Other reasons listed included a reluctance to work evenings and weekends (16%) and the belief that the starting salary of a tradesman is too low.