Boosting Business in Construction with Apprenticeships

Boosting Business in Construction with Apprenticeships

07th December 2015

There's some worrying news for the construction industry from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in the wake of the latest Construction Survey conducted by the organisation. According to RICS the UK is facing its worst skills shortage for 20 years. It's been revealed that labour shortages are the most significant deterrent to growth in most parts of Britain.

Apparently both quantity surveyors and bricklayers are in particularly short supply, especially across the East Anglia area. However, it's been disclosed that building companies all across the UK are claiming that financial constraints, such as access to credit, have been presented some of the biggest constraints to growth. Regulatory and planning issues are also playing a serious role in discouraging growth in the construction industry.

Despite these findings. The survey does show that there are significant areas of growth with workloads on the increase, especially in the private housing, industrial and commercial sectors. While there was a slight contraction in output over the three months to August at a national level, a large proportion of respondents in the East Anglia area reported an increase in their workloads.

According to RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, future growth will only be sustainable if the growing skills shortage is addressed. Apparently, the availability of both white collar and blue collar construction workers is at crisis point here in the UK and without relevant skills several of the government's priority constructions sectors, such as infrastructure, will be unable to grow over the coming years.

Many of the problems are being blamed on the collapse of the sector in the wake of the global financial crisis. During the crisis so many skilled workers and professionals left the industry that they've created a gap that has still not been filled. This is one of the reasons that we're now seeing initiatives aimed at attracting more women and school leavers into the construction sector. It's hoped that the Apprenticeship initiative will help to solve the problems being faced by the industry and the government has put its full weight behind the Apprenticeship Scheme in a bid to ensure that there are plenty of construction workers in the UK in the future.

An apprenticeship is a great way for young people to earn a living while training for a career in construction - they learn about the real world, what it's like to work in the sector and lay the foundation for a successful future in the workplace. However, the benefits are not all gleaned by the apprentices - employers who offer apprenticeships also gain from doing so. Hiring an apprentice is a really cost effective way of adding to your workforce. This is why 20% of employers here in the UK are committed to taking on apprentices - it's a great way of future proofing the workforce. Many of the businesses that have taken on apprentices have discovered that it's resulted in a significant boost in the overall productivity of the company. The training can be carried out with minimal disruption to business operations and more companies are expecting to take on apprentices in the future.