Construction apprenticeship starts are at a record high, according to figures released by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) during National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 March).
Almost 25,000 people started a construction apprenticeship in 2015/16 across England, Scotland and Wales.
This represents a 25% increase in the past two years as apprentice starts have shot up from 19,973 in 2014 to 24,899 in 2016. This is the highest figure since the present way of recording apprenticeships began in 2003.
In the same year, CITB funded over 8,400 employers to support 24,600 apprenticeships across Great Britain with £57 million in training grants.
Up to £10,250 of CITB grant funding is available to employers for every apprentice they employ. And with CITB research released last month predicting that over 179,000 new workers are needed in the next five years, there is no better time to encourage people to join the industry.
One of the reasons behind the improved figures are the success of Shared Apprenticeship Schemes. They enabled SME employers who dominate the construction sector to recruit over 500 apprentices last year, where they would otherwise have not been able to do so. These initiatives are designed to grow apprenticeships further and support better outcomes for learners.
Sarah Beale, CITB Chief Executive, said: “These figures show that more employers than ever before are taking on apprentices.
“These record numbers are made possible by increased awareness of the opportunities available, including through the industry-led Go Construct website.
“We are also working to improve the quality of apprenticeships, with CITB supporting construction employers to develop 31 new Apprenticeship Standards to meet the changing needs of our industry.
“I would encourage all employers to consider taking on an apprentice – it’s good for the sector and great for growing their businesses. And CITB is ready to provide them with the funding and support to make new apprenticeships possible.”
For more information on construction careers, visit Go Construct.