SC 2742 Scrutton Bland-Construction-12pp-FINAL

Mind the Gap apprentice schemes help fill the skills shortage

After years of changes to the further education system, apprenticeship schemes have often been seen as the poor relation of university degrees, and applications had dwindled away. Despite a push to reintroduce apprenticeship schemes, until recently many employers still reported that only small numbers of applicants were applying for vacancies. Yet the demand for skilled workers in certain sectors has never been higher. This situation is particularly acute in the construction industry. The weakened economy post 2008 led to a downturn in building projects, and construction firms were forced to cut back their workforce. Several years on, that situation has changed and the industry is now struggling to find trained people to meet the demand for growth. The shortage of trained professionals for jobs such as quantity surveyors, building managers, electricians, plumbers and other specialists such as wood machinists and cutters has never been more critical. Phil Stittle, Director of Business Development at West Suffolk College said: “We are seeing ever growing figures overall for apprenticeships. Numbers for both vacancies and applicants have soared. In 15/16 we have had 647 applications, a massive rise on 127 the previous year. Vacancies for construction apprenticeships are also following suit, with 31 being advertised in 14/15 and 53 in 15/16. We actually enrolled 183 construction apprentices in 15/16 compared to 127 in 14/15 and we continue to encourage the construction industry to advertise any vacancies on the National Apprenticeship Service website. All of our vacancies have a good number of applications and we are always looking for employers to get in touch with us to engage with our full time learners, which allows them to progress to an apprenticeship or to direct employment in the industry.”

For a longer version of this article see

C O N S T R U C T I O N | S C R U T T O N B L A N D | 1 0

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker