The IHBC has welcomed the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) announcement of the setting up of a new apprenticeship commission to help deliver a new strategy for construction apprentices, attempting to address issues of the age profile in construction and attractiveness of the career to young people.
IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘This is an important initiative to help careers, capacity and standards across the industry. We do hope that heritage issues and challenges will be fully embedded in all of the initiatives this new commission initiates and inspires.’
‘Repair and maintenance areas are already a key part of the mainstream construction sector, and that will only increase as future apprentices grow into fully skilled workers. Traditional and historic buildings represent such a huge proportion of the industry that it would be a disaster if these, and related conservation matters, do not get special consideration by the new commission’.
The CITB writes:
The commission will make recommendations on ways the industry can significantly increase the number of apprentices in the system while maintaining the ‘gold standard’ training valued by the firms employing them.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of yesterday’s Budget Statement by the Chancellor, George Osborne MP, where Government have pledged an additional £170 million for small businesses to support over 100,000 new apprenticeship places in the next two years.
James Wates, Chairman of CITB said: ‘We face a perfect storm. Construction is set to lose 400,000 workers to retirement in the next five years and, over the same period; we are set to create 182,000 jobs.
‘With the economy picking up, we have a superb opportunity to appeal to a new generation of construction workers and to train them for a rewarding career in construction.
‘During the course of the recession, the needs of employers have changed, and so too have the industry’s. To compete globally, we need to ensure that our apprentices are skilled and trained to their full potential.
‘It’s the right time to deliver a new Apprenticeship Strategy for Construction. It will drive greater employer commitment to apprenticeships and ensure that we provide solutions to Government to help get Britain’s young people back to work.’
The Apprenticeship Commission will develop an Apprenticeship Strategy by the end of the year. High profile commissioners are currently being approached to lead this important industry strategy and will be announced shortly.