An enhanced apprentice strategy for growth in construction

on 14 June, 2017

Much focus from the media, business and government has been given to the skills shortage in the UK. In the heavy clay construction industry, a strong recruitment pool of skilled workers is crucial given the mounting scrutiny facing the sector with regards to the availability and quality of housing in the UK.

Research from the CITB released last month indicates that over 179,000 new workers will be needed in the industry within the next five years.

The problem the industry faces is unfortunately an historic one, with apprenticeships not being held in equal esteem to more academic learning. Wider changes in education policy are helping to give greater parity between academic and vocational training.

With the new government apprenticeship levy now here, we, like other businesses across the country are welcoming the need to adapt to meet government aims at boosting productivity. The changes the levy brings is predominantly with how the apprenticeships will be delivered.

A set of new ‘standards’ have been developed by industry experts and educational professionals alike. These ‘standards’ have been developed to offer attractive and high quality opportunities that will close the skills gap and produce a workforce that can actively contribute to a sustainable competitive UK workforce.

This will also benefit employers with an overall return on investment and therefore allying fears of taking on more workers without the security of knowing they can afford them. It will also benefit potential apprentices as they can not only achieve degree level qualifications at any age, but also gain real experience of the industry whilst in their role.

At Wienerberger, we believe that apprenticeships can be transformational for both the company and our employees alike; achieving a working life for staff that is both rewarding and fulfilling is a key objective for us.

The new government levy makes this a strategy we can more readily explore. Following on from this, we hope to see the age bracket of our apprentices broaden and apprenticeship schemes emerge as a preferred way to promote development for individuals.

Carole Goodwin is Human Resources Director at Wienerberger

Sign Up

For the Builders' Merchants News enewsletter.

In the spotlight

We have vacancies all over the UK for those who work within the Building Supplies sector.