A young builder has been named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ by the National Federation of Builders (NFB).
Luke Chapman, who works for Walker Construction based in Kent, will receive his award at the upcoming NFB Awards 2018 on Tuesday 27 March. Chapman is currently studying a NVQ Level 2 in Groundworks and Construction.
Walker Construction (UK) Ltd is a multi-disciplined construction company delivering building, civil and rail projects across a diverse range of industry sectors.
After learning of his win, Chapman said: “Winning the apprentice of the year means a lot to me because it recognises how much effort and hard work I’m putting into this opportunity. It makes me feel like I’m doing really well, so I’m really proud of myself.”
A typical day for Luke includes working a fully operational construction site. Every three months, he spends two weeks of his time at the CITB National Construction College in Birmingham. Luke was fortunate enough to meet a director of Walker Construction while working at his old job in a local café. He said: “One of the regulars at the café where I worked was the Director of Walker Construction. We got speaking one day and he invited me for a taster day and I’ve never looked back!”
The latest forecast by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for the trade in the UK estimated an annual average growth rate of 1.3%, which means that we will need to recruit 158,000 construction workers across different trades each year for the next five years.
There are more than two million people in various construction jobs, meaning it’s one of the biggest and most diverse sectors in the country. Individuals looking to gain the skills to build a successful career, without the long-term financial burden associated with continued study, can benefit from earn while you learn schemes.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is the largest provider of construction apprenticeships in Britain. In 2016 the organisation supported around 8,400 employers to train more than 24,600 apprentices.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “There has never been a better time to join the sector, and an apprenticeship is a great route into the industry. The current demand for new young workers has never been higher. Apprenticeships are a vital source of talent for the industry.
Many NFB members work with local colleges and schools to help train aspiring young adults to gain the right qualifications. Education is a force for positive change and we must invest in our future workforce in order to tackle the current skills shortage.”
To view Chapman’s full interview, click here.