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Posted on 23/06/2020 in Apprenticeship Sector News Stories

A must read report for all involved in Construction Apprenticeships

A must read report for all involved in Construction Apprenticeships

Construction apprenticeships are needed to turbocharge economic recovery, according to new research published by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). sponsored by CITB



The solution to the construction skills crisis is better collaboration. That means working together to encourage more young people into construction through apprenticeships, and to support the small to medium-sized (SME) businesses in construction that undertake most of the industry’s training.

We have a proud history of speaking up for apprenticeships and our members lead the way in this field. SMEs train over three-quarters (71%) of construction apprentices.

The construction skills shortage is well documented. Finding quality tradespeople is an everyday challenge for builders across the country. That the UK will adopt a points based immigration system that only allows highly skilled tradespeople to come into the industry will further compound this shortage.

This report puts forward a blueprint for how industry bodies can work in partnership to scale-up current levels of training among our domestic workforce.

It looks at how the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education should improve communications with SMEs to ensure that the standards they deliver work on construction sites of all sizes.

It also talks about how the Government should focus on improving their support for, and communication with, non-UK Apprenticeship Levy paying companies that train apprentices to an intermediate and advanced level. 

We are grateful to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) for sponsoring this report.



The FMB’s report, Trading Up, looks at the barriers small to medium-sized (SME) employers face to delivering apprenticeships and upskilling. It presents a blueprint for collaboration to unlock additional training opportunities.

Key findings in the report have revealed:

  • Sixty-eight percent of master builders are either currently training an apprentice or have done so in the past
  • Of these, 85% train and recruit 16 to 18-year olds
  • Forty percent of completed apprentices will stay working for the SME company who trained them for at least three years.

The report makes a series of recommendations, which includes:

  • The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to scale-up construction SME-targeted advertising as part of the ‘Fire it Up’ campaign
  • The Department for Education should ringfence funding for colleges to recruit an industry liaison officer who will create and foster relationships with local employers
  • The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) should focus on improving communication with SMEs and other stakeholders on a local level and upgrade the financial and administrative support that is available to them.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Putting local builders at the heart of apprenticeship development and training will unlock additional high-quality opportunities for young people and help Britain get back on its feet.

“We need an army of builders to help deliver the new homes that this country desperately needs. They will also upgrade our existing homes to make them more energy efficient and fit for purpose in the years ahead.”


Arthur McArdle, national president of the FMB and director of Woodfield Building Services, added: “Master builders are passionate about creating high-quality apprenticeship opportunities for the next generation. For the most part, this is because builders start out as apprentices themselves. I am calling on my fellow members of the FMB to commit to training where they can.”

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