Builders of commercial property could get a new wave of trainees, following the expansion of the government’s apprenticeship scheme.
It is expected as many as 7,000 new construction apprenticeships will be offered, despite the recent economic contraction.
The National Apprenticeship Scheme was launched last week after receiving Royal assent. Skills secretary John Denham said apprenticeships were looking more like a mainstream option.
“We anticipate that one in five of all young people will be undertaking an apprenticeship by the end of the next decade.”
He also noted government-funded building projects will be used to help firms recruit more apprenticeships.
The government said it could also insist successful contractors employ these junior workers and promised to cut the scheme’s bureaucracy.
Hiring apprentices offers “a great return on investment as the training is often fully-funded and businesses can be eligible for further financial support towards their apprentices’ wages”, noted David Way, national director of skills at the Learning and Skills Council.
The Trades Union Congress has asked the government to review the pay rates it will offer apprentices and increase the national minimum wage.