The new apprenticeships have been developed by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) with a range of employers in the house-building sector.
FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “These higher quality construction apprenticeships have the potential to help solve the construction skills crisis. The bricklayer and plasterer apprenticeships were designed by employers, which will ensure they produce the tradespeople they need. The apprenticeships are longer in duration and cover a broader range of knowledge and hand-skills. This not only benefits the employers but also the apprentices who will be arming themselves with a wider range of skills for their future careers.”
He said: “This increase in quality will lead to an increase in quantity. Over 70% of construction SME bosses say they would be more likely to train an apprentice if the quality of apprenticeships improved. The construction industry is not meeting its apprenticeship targets currently and this uplift in quality will help encourage students, teachers and parents alike to properly consider a career in construction. We’re expecting up to 4,000 apprentices to enrol on the bricklayer apprenticeship every year and up to 1,500 apprentices to undertake plastering each year. These numbers are significant and as the reputation of these new standards grows, we hope to see the numbers increase. We are urging colleges across England to offer these new bricklayer and plasterer apprenticeships from September this year.”
Julian Weightman, the builder who chaired of the trailblazer group for these schemes, said: “The new bricklayer and plasterer apprenticeships were shaped by employers in the construction industry. This ensures that apprenticeship training actually reflects what’s required in the workplace. These new apprenticeships will produce bricklayers and plasterers who are broadly skilled and are able to work for large and small construction firms alike. Although the process of developing these apprenticeships has not been particularly speedy or straightforward, we are delighted with the end result. I feel certain that the introduction of these two new apprenticeships will drive up standards in our industry. This will certainly make more SME employers likely to train an apprentice and will help us meet the government’s target of three million new apprenticeships by 2020.”
Jenny Herdman, director of the Home Building Skills Partnership, said: “We welcome the introduction of these new apprenticeships in tackling the skills shortage our industry is currently facing. The Home Building Skills Partnership aims to attract and train new entrants to the home building sector as well as identify the future skills needed for both employees and employers to thrive. These new apprenticeships align closely to our work in providing the necessary skills and training the sector needs to build quality homes where and when we need them.”
The Home Building Skills Partnership is part of the Home Builders Federation and is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board.