“The fact that construction apprenticeships are rising demonstrates industry’s commitment to train the next generation,” says BSRIA.
BSRIA is encouraged by the news that construction apprenticeships are up to pre-recession levels, according to figures from the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), released last week Monday (14 March), to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2016).
The number of new apprentices has hit a six-year high and reached a level not seen since before the financial crisis in 2008, increasing by 12% compared to last year. A total of 22,496 young people started construction apprenticeships in 2014/2015, up from 19,973 in 2013/14.
Julia Evans, BSRIA Chief Executive, said: “The fact that construction apprenticeships are rising demonstrates industry’s commitment to train the next generation. But with CITB research predicting 230,000 new construction jobs by 2020, we need even more young people to start apprenticeships, and to ensure companies take them on.
“Apprenticeships are essential for up-and-coming builders to get into the workplace: we hope this week can highlight the importance of such a vital trade.
“Maybe we need to move the focus away from one of being a ‘construction industry’ to one focussed on ‘the built environment’?”
“We need to change the image of our industry and make it a more attractive career proposition. Government can help industry to communicate better to make engineering more interesting. Maybe we need to move the focus away from one of being a ‘construction industry’ to one focussed on ‘the built environment’?”
Julia continued: “One of the biggest threats to the government’s infrastructure plans is the skills shortage in construction. And the need to stem the skills gap and attract more people into construction careers is more crucial than ever in light of a potential ‘Brexit’, as many of BSRIA’s members – and the wider industry – rely on skilled workers from Europe.”
The spirit of NAW 2016 fits in well with BSRIA’s current INSPIRE project which is working with local schools, national and local politicians and the media to promote STEM and change its perceptions.