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Do we need more apprentices

Do we need more apprentices in construction?

by constructaquote - 1 June 2016


Where will the future of construction be if we are failing to adequately equip the next generation of tradespeople with the right skills?

The skill-crisis is one that has been well documented in recent years; unfortunately there seems to be no signs of any relieving tension.

constructaquote.com conducted a survey in January 2015 polling 956 owners/senior construction company employees which found that over 50% of respondents predicted that there will be a greater need for construction apprenticeships in the coming years

Taking on a trainee

The vast majority of respondents (87%) stated that they had mostly positive experiences with apprenticeship schemes in the past and would definitely be hiring more in the future.

However, taking on an apprentice can be expensive. Construction firms may be put off by the additional risk and the additional expense; there is little financial incentive for any construction firm to invest in apprentices.

However, if they are willing to put in the time and money, having an apprentice could pay off as 73% of construction employers questioned currently employ at least one individual who started as a trainee apprentice within their company.

Due to the severity of the skill-shortage, professionals throughout the construction sector are seeing strong financial gains.

Over half of construction workers (54%) predicted that there will be a greater need for construction apprenticeships in the coming years within their own industry and others.

It could be suggested that the British government should be doing more to assist such apprenticeships schemes in order to ensure that the second largest economically contributing industry remains healthy.

Despite the rampant skill-shortage, up-coming projects are showing no signs of halting.

If the government worked towards decreasing the swelling unemployment rate whilst also fulfilling the industries skill-crisis, the UK could benefit from a substantial boost to the economy.

We would see less people claiming benefits and more feeding into the economy, however this is unlikely to materialise into reality without government assistance.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said at the time: “Apprenticeships can be a big part of not just tackling unemployment but also in making sure our economic recovery is for all…”

Embracing alternative employment routes

The introduction of higher university fees and fewer grants means that less people are entering employment via traditional routes.

Young people are embracing experience in the work place as an alternative method, however the availability of said experiences are in short supply.