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Sat March 06 2021

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Screwed up your exams? Be a builder

21 Aug 14 On the day that school pupils across the country get their GCSE exam results, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is urging them to consider a construction apprenticeship instead of going back to school for A-Levels.

Chris Ware finished his apprenticeship in 2007 and now runs his own business
Chris Ware finished his apprenticeship in 2007 and now runs his own business

The FMB points out that the building industry is experiencing a serious skills shortage as the industry looks to fill 182,000 jobs in the next five years.

“There has never been a more exciting time to begin a career in construction and we’re keen to demonstrate that A-Levels are not the only way forward for young people on GCSE results day,” said FMB head of external affairs Sarah McMonagle.

The industry is crying out for new blood. During the recession 390,000 workers left the sector and over the next five years an estimated 410,000 workers will reach retirement age.

Provisional statistics show that there were 314,600 apprenticeship starts in the first three quarters of the 2013/14 academic year but only 13,320 of these are in the construction, planning and built environment sector. Year on year the number of apprenticeship starts in this sector are decreasing (13,730 in 2012/13 and 13,920 in 2011/12).

Ware Construction managing director Chris Ware is a former FMB Apprentice of the Year. He said: “From personal experience I can say that apprenticeships are an excellent route for school leavers. I finished my apprenticeship in carpentry in 2007 after leaving school at 16 when I finished my GCSEs. I started my own company in 2010 in the midst of the recession and I now employ seven full-time members of staff along with seven subcontractors and I own four vans and a variety of machinery.”

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