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Skills Minister David Lammy MP supports new industry Apprenticeship drive


With industry missing out on at least a thousand would be apprentices every year and with apprenticeships rising up the political agenda ConstructionSkills, in partnership with the Federation of Master Builders, has signed up a group of high profile employers to form the Construction Industry Task Force on Apprenticeship Numbers.

The Task Force was backed by Skills Minister David Lammy MP on December 3rd and to support the group’s ambitions to raise awareness Building magazine facilitated an open roundtable discussion to be reported on in the magazine later this month.

7,500 new projects (in excess of £1 million) with a total estimated value of nearly £250 billion are projected to start over the next five years, this is in addition to the ongoing repair and maintenance work and construction projects already in progress. The Task Force will look at ways to address the current shortfall in recruits and identify perceived barriers to apprenticeship take-up.

The Task Force will help raise awareness of the business benefits of taking on apprentices as well as the risk to industry of not investing in the workforce of the future. They will propose solutions with the aim of doubling the number of successful construction apprenticeships over the next four years

The Task Force membership will consist of key figures from industry including employers, Federation representation, Union officials, Government departments and the  Learning and Skills Council . It will complement the Government’s own cross-industry Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network and will be chaired and led by Geoff Lister, President of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and member of the ConstructionSkills Board.


Geoff Lister, President of the Federation of Master Builders, said; “22% of FMB members train apprentices compared to less than 10 % across the construction sector, I’d like to dramatically increase both these figures. I look forward to working with industry employer’s and other colleagues from all sizes of companies and organisations to help provide an employment route for extra Apprentices to help solve the skill needs within the industry over the run up period to the 2012 Olympics. I realise it is a challenge but I am sure with the enthusiasm that I believe exists we can succeed.”

Skills Minister David Lammy said: "In order to deliver major projects such as the Thames Gateway development and the Olympics we need a vibrant and fully skilled construction workforce, and apprenticeships are central to ensuring this is achieved. That is why over £1billion in Government funding has been ring-fenced to increase overall places across all sectors from 250,000 today to more than 400,000 by 2020. I call on employers in the construction industry to work with us to ensure that an apprenticeship place is available for everyone who needs one."

Max Hamps, ConstuctionSkills Apprenticeships Director said; “The construction sector has long relied on apprentices as a means of training the next generation of workers and as such the sector already has well established apprenticeship pathways. However the number of young people seeking an apprenticeship is far greater than placements offered by employers. Last year over 45,000 young people applied to ConstructionSkills for apprenticeships but only 9,000 apprenticeships were offered by employers. The huge shortage of employers to meet the increasing demand by young people is something that can only be addressed if we unite as an industry and commit to tackling it. “

Max Hamps, Director ConstructionSkills Apprenticeships. Sir Michael Latham, Chairman ConstructionSkills. David Lammy, Skills Minister, Geoff Lister President of the Federation of Master Builders + Task Force Chair, Peter Lobban, Chief Executive ConstructionSkills

For more information on the Construction Industry Task Force on Apprenticeship Numbers please contact

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