The current skills shortage is one of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry today, as the sector continues to struggle in meeting the demand for skilled professionals.
Getting into the construction trade has been ideal for a stable and rewarding career. The current demand for new young workers has never been higher. According to CITB, almost 25,000 people started a construction apprenticeship in 2015/16 across England, Scotland and Wales. Research has also shown that over 179,000 new workers are needed in the next five years.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has highlighted the extent of the construction skills crisis and often called on the Government to address it in a way that benefits every region in the country. We believe that in order to tackle the skills shortage, apprenticeships need to be better targeted, and SMEs should be given more purchasing power so that they are able to develop their own training provisions. Many members of the NFB have called on for more support in sourcing apprentices for work.
NFB members based in the North East have expressed their need to recruit apprentices and have sought out relationships with local colleges and schools to help bridge the gap.
The NFB’s Yorkshire Builders Federation (YBF) has a long history of supporting construction companies in the region. As part of its strategy to support skills growth, the federation recognises the need to provide additional funding to break down barriers that could prevent young people entering or sustaining employment in the construction industry.
The YBF Bursary is available for NFB members to support local apprentices. There is funding of up to £500 available per apprentice, to help overcome any barriers within their construction related learning. For instance, this could include such things as tools, driving lessons to commute to construction sites, or any potential additional requirements that can be submitted to the YBF Committee for sponsorship consideration.
The YBF also sponsors Hull College and Leeds College of Building awards ceremonies, to promote how positive learners are from these well established and respected educational facilities for the North East region”.
The NFB continues to work with their members to help support local colleges and construction apprenticeships.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB said: “There are many skilled trades which require a high-level of technical ability, and apprenticeships enable young people to learn on the job, gaining hands-on experience whilst getting paid at the same time. Education is a force for positive change and we must invest in our future workforce in order to tackle the current skills shortage.”