This compares to 500 taken on in 2008.
The collapse in numbers has prompted a call to arms from the head of the industry’s trade association.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity, both for the individual and for the firm taking them on,” said Robert Hudson, director of the National Association of Shopfitters (NAS). “They are vital to the industry to ensure that we have the skilled workforce we need to be successful.”
He added: “With the industry currently struggling, apprenticeships not only offer the younger generation a way in to the industry, but there is also an incredible amount of support available to those firms who are willing to take them on.
“The training they receive is developed in consultation with the industry so apprentices learn the right skills for the job and the firm receives the best practical support from CITB-ConstructionSkills.”