The continued boom in the construction industry means that an additional 31,600 new recruits are currently needed, with an expected further 126,000 over the next 4 years if output targets are to be met. Given today’s skill shortages, recruitment is already a priority; a trend set to continue.
Apprenticeships seemed a promising solution to build a skilled workforce for the construction industry, with 25,000 new starts in 2015/16. However this number dropped in 2016 /17 by 4000.
Although a lack of understanding regarding changes to funding was blamed for the decline, other industries demonstrated an increase in apprenticeship uptake. The health care sector was the most successful and was most likely due to awareness campaigns and proactive recruitment drives.
The Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016 placed an obligation on the government to report annually on its progress towards meeting its target of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020. This document outlines some of the key points outlined in the latest government report released in January 2018.