Why apprentices are imprortant for the future of the trade

City and Guilds reported that there has been a major concern in the construction industry around the topic of the availability of apprentices to support the necessary increase in property expansion as populations, economies and businesses grow. This affects all trades of all sizes, not just construction, but plumbing, plastering, building, carpenting, electricains and every trade that you can think of. If we take one example, and the results may vary, but as construction is the largest industry, In 2018, 87% of employers in the construction arena, were struggling to resource, secure and retain, the right type and level of skilled worker for construction based roles
1. Why the concern for the construction industry
When Construction News looked into how construction workers were secured, was it through apprentices or something else, wha they found from their research and analysis, 12.6% of skilled workersm, were not British born. With 5.7% in this sub-group originating from other EU countries, this may suggest that as a career option being a skilled trader, may not be something that appeals to certain demographics, for one reason or another, but what is does say is that, the skilled labour in the trade is represented by skilled traders from outside the UK and within Europe. In London, when they did the same analysis, they found this number rose significantly to 60%, suggesting that skilled construction workers are drawn to the city, but with these workers able to work longer hours, for lower earnings, whislt still delivering the same value, means the attractivenes for apprentices in cities like London, may be less appealing as they are already competing on reduced pay, for all opportunities. In construction, When they looked at the age profile 3 out of 10 workers were over 50. This signals that apprenticeship roles are more crucial than ever moving forward both in light of the ambitious targets for property construction and development set by government, increase in the number and before, the type of private and domestic construction projects, which exist in the UK are complex and demanding, and require an apprentice trained appraoch. What creates new challenges, it he UK’s exit from the EU with regulations and laws expected to be introduced to limit freedom of movement and EU workers rights and requirements when working in the UK. This means that the earlier volume of expertise recruited to support projects in cities, pre Brexit, may no longer be allowed to operate legally in the UK. Which means we need to support our young apprentices to be successful and capable as well as ensure the trades can survive in the future. With an ageing technically skilled population who are looking to a well earned retirement, as well as with fewer middle aged skilled workers the lack of young trained skilled workers is a real problem that impacts the long term future of the trades. Apprentice scheme expansion, adoption and publicity as a 3 point solution needs to be implented urgently, This is to ensure all trades continue to thrive and survive sustainably, whilst preventing serious under supply to the trade sector.
2. How can the challenge of recruitment be overcome
UK construction media claims employers say that 86% of apprentices have been able to develop the right skills and 78% see the schemes as positively improving productivity and quality of work. One industry sponsor of the scheme, Chris Wood, CEO of Develop Training, voiced his confidence in apprenticeship programmes by saying: “Working with some of the UK’s largest utility firms, has seen high levels of success rates, our customers have no doubt that the programmes are managed well, as they see the results in th competent and professional approach by aprentices, and the quality of the work they deliver"
3. Final comments
We hope the idea of apprentices in industry is usefull, you can check out our other blogs 10 Essential tips to help you choose a plumber and 14 Essential tips to help homeowners and builders with projects both these bogs capture the valuable service that apprentices can go on to contribute to in the industry

About the Author

Sarah Tring
Hi, I'm Sarah, I'm a blogger who enjoys eveything related to home improvement, I'm passionate about sustainable homes, home improvement, home developments and technology used in the home. When not blogging, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two children and our dog 'Leto'.