ConstructionSkills, the skills council for the construction industry, has announced that it will provide a record £140m in grants for skills and training development.
The grants are available from 1 August, and represent a substantial increase on £113m distributed in 2006 to 20,500 employers in the sector.
ConstructionSkills said the level of grant available to support apprentices has also been significantly increased to help more employers recruit and train the next generation of skilled construction workers.
Douglas Matthew, head of finance at ConstructionSkills said: “One of the UK’s biggest skills challenges is the number of adults in the workforce who do not have basic literacy and numeracy skills and who do not have the platform of qualifications that a modern economy needs.
“The construction industry is in good health and increased activity has meant increased employment and as a consequence this has enabled us to raise the grant available and help us to meet the targets set out in Lord Leitch’s report,” he said.
The construction sector generates almost 9% of UK gross domestic product. It has an annual turnover of £203bn.
According to the Construction Skills Network, it employs 2.5 million people and requires a further 87,600 new entrants per year until 2011.