Construction Products Body In ‘Apprenticeship Pledge’

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), which represents construction materials suppliers, has encouraged youngsters from the East Riding to take up apprenticeships, with the prospect of a good career in the construction industry to follow.

Speaking to the Scarborough News, the BMF chief executive John Newcomb told of the “apprenticeship pledge” launched by the organisation, aimed at helping youngsters grow careers in construction and closing the skills gap in a sector where these can be in short supply and apprenticeship training providers can help resolve the shortfall.

The pledge also aims to “highlight to potential recruits in Bridlington and across the UK that they can join an industry where they will benefit from robust prospects,” he added.

Highlighting the backgrounds of the BMF member firm leaders, he added: “Many companies in our membership are run by people who started out in the industry as an apprentice or in a junior role.”

Now, Mr Newcomb added, they want to do the same for the next generation and help the sector to gain the extra skills it needs.

The paper highlighted the fact that this quest to recruit apprenticeships to build the construction workforce for the future comes at a time when the Construction Skills Network has published data in its latest report highlighting how serious the skill shortage is. It projects Britain will need 225,000 new construction workers in the next four years.

At the same time, the report noted that after a downturn in 2023, there will be a lot of growth in the sector and a workforce of 2.67 million by 2027 if all targets are met. The private housing, infrastructure and the repair and maintenance sectors have all been identified as areas of major demand.

Construction Industry Training Board chief executive Tim Balcon said the report “clearly shows that despite current economic uncertainty, recruiting and developing the workforce remains vital to ensure the industry can contribute to economic growth”.