Big builders to double new apprentices this year

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

Several major builders and housing developers have committed to a big apprentices recruitment drive this year for an anticipated upturn in work in late 2013.

Employers with the industry’s main employer trade bodies will double their targets to take on 1,500 apprentices this year.

Kier is leading the apprenticeship push with plans for 150 new apprenticeships.

But house builders like Redrow and other employers from the UK Contractors Group have also applied for grants to fund more trainee places, according to CITB-ConstructionSkills.

Mike Bialyj, director of employer services, CITB-ConstructionSkills said: “The outlook for apprenticeship recruitment in 2012 is looking much healthier than last year’s figures.

“As a managing agency our own recruitment numbers are on the rise but these figures from the major employer groups are also encouraging.

“It’s clear that employers are carefully planning their 2013/14 workforce now to make sure that they have the skills and talent at the ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise.

“Apprentices are the lifeblood of the industry and continued support for apprenticeships is critical if we are to have a steady pipeline or talent coming into the sector.

“We are an aging industry with one in ten expected to retire in the next decade so we really need to continue to recruit and train more people into the sector.

“It’s also great that so many of the larger employers have been helping SMEs by taking on an apprentice but allowing that apprentice to train and work for the smaller contractor.

“This has been working really well for many throughout the sector.”

Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UK Contractors Group, said: “With business conditions remaining difficult, it’s great to see firms on the front-foot and prioritising investment in apprenticeships and talent development.

“The premium in construction is on the quality of apprenticeship programmes. These additional placements are welcome opportunities for young people to develop the depth of skills they need to secure a long term sustainable career”.

Ian Dickerson, Head of New Entrants at Kier said: “We have a strong track record of investing in training and supporting apprenticeship programmes and are pleased to announce that this is to continue and expand into 2012.

Kier has benefitted greatly from supporting and investing in apprentices. Many of our skilled and valued employees have come into the industry via this route, and we want to continue to source and develop new entrants in this way.”

Employers from the Home Builders Federation intend to take on over 100 apprentices despite being one of the trade groups hit the hardest in the recession.

Karen Jones, Human Resources Director from Redrow Homes said “We strongly believe in training and developing our workforce.

“Apprenticeship recruitment is a key part of this and Redrow will continue this commitment in 2012. Along with other members of the Major Home Builders in the UK we are looking to expand and develop our workforce ready for future growth.”

CITB-ConstructionSkills has been working hard with industry to help smaller firms take on apprenticeships by developing its shared apprenticeship scheme and providing additional funding and support.

More information about CITB-ConstructionSkills training grants click

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