Recent statistics have brought to light the skills shortages that are apparent across sectors within the construction industry. As it stands, there are 120,000 apprentices needed in order to meet the demand of 200,000 jobs, and with an ever-ageing workforce, this could rapidly become an even bigger problem if it isn’t acted on now.
Why is there a shortage?
It has been revealed that 35% of school careers advisors see construction industry jobs as being ‘unattractive’, and therefore they do not encourage school leavers to look into it as a possible career avenue.
This was reflected in The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) statistics that previously revealed how 41% of a sample believed that the construction workforce over the course of 2013/2014 would decrease. This was to be true as Government figures highlighted that in 2013, the industry trained only 22,400 apprentices, and now two years down the line, rather than seeing an increase, this figure has diminished to 13,700 – a 39% decrease!
Yet with a huge rise in university tuition fees, it is still shocking that school leavers are not taking advantage of apprenticeships, as they offer an excellent alternative to university, providing a way to learn a new skill that can lead to full time employment.
What are the benefits of apprenticeships in the construction industry?
There are clear benefits from both parties (both the employee and employer) as to why hiring apprentices is a great opportunity.
- Chance to learn a skill that is highly valued in the industry.
- Excellent training and qualification opportunities.
- According to CIOB Research skills in the UK Construction Industry April 2013, 72% of apprentices are offered permanent employment within the company, beyond their 2-3 year apprenticeship.
- Offers the perfect opportunity for a company to mould their workforce by training individuals from scratch, before they have had the chance to get used to a certain way of working or picked up any bad habits.
“There are 120,000 apprentices needed in order to meet the demand of 200,000 jobs.”
So what is being done about it?
People in the construction industry are stepping up to take control of the situation. They are promoting their industry as a whole in numerous ways such as hosting company apprentice recruitment days, graduate programmes and trainee sponsorships for HNC/HND qualifications.
There are also various different routes now available as a way into this line of work including:
- Traditional apprenticeships
- Specialist apprenticeship programmes
- Higher apprenticeships
- Sponsorships for professionals
- Graduate programmes
- On-the-job training.
These are all considered excellent efforts to try and make the industry all the more appealing and flexible to youngsters looking for a fantastic working opportunity after leaving school.
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