Lack of inroads holds back drive for more apprentices in construction industry by sector skills council ConstructionSkills

At least 12,000 recruits were turned away from the construction industry in 2006 due to a lack of vacancies for apprentices being offered by employers, according to figures from skills council for the sector ConstructionSkills.

ConstructionSkills is calling on employers of all sizes to recognise construction apprentices as a vital resource, and to commit to helping young people enter the industry.

The Leitch Review recommendations for improving UK skills has a target of 500,000 apprentices across all sectors by 2020. There are currently only 250,000 apprentices working in all sectors.

Max Hamps, director of apprenticeships at ConstructionSkills, said: “Apprentices are essential to the construction industry and they can be an invaluable asset to any company. Unfortunately, many firms still think that taking on an apprentice is costly or time consuming, or that drop out rates are high, but ConstructionSkills apprentices have some of the best completion rates in the industry.”

So far this year over 25,000 young people in England have applied to ConstructionSkills hoping to gain a start in the industry. Nearly 6,000 candidates have passed the organisation’s selection test for all apprenticeship applicants, which ensures they meet appropriate standards.

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