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National and Regional Reports

Trainee Numbers Survey

As part of the Sector Skills Council for Construction, CITB-ConstructionSkills has the task of producing a forecast of skills demand in the industry, and estimating the likely future supply of trained workers. The starting point for these is an assessment of the levels of training within the industry. This is provided by CITB-ConstructionSkills’ annual Trainee Numbers Survey, which measures the number of people entering construction training. Data is collected from colleges, private training providers and construction industry training centres across Great Britain. These include those coming through CITB-ConstructionSkills own managing agency and those entering other formal certificated training at craft and technical level.

Summary of the Report

  • First year intake in 2005/2006 stands at just over 47,000. This represents a further rise on previous year’s figures (2%)
  • The composition of the top five occupations in terms of absolute numbers of starters are Wood Trades, Bricklayers, Technical Occupations, Plant Operatives and Painters - a slight change from last year
  • Over half of all first year trainees are undertaking an S/NVQ Level 2 or Intermediate Construction Award
  • The West Midlands has more starters than the other 10 regions/devolved administrations
  • Just over half of all first year trainees undertaking craft training are work-based.
  • Just under half of all S/NVQ Level 2 and 3 starters are following an Apprenticeship programme
  • The breakdown of first year intake by age is fairly evenly split between those aged under 18 and Adults – 49% and 51% respectively.
  • There are 1,193 female starters (3% of total)
  • Ethnic minority starters account for 5% of the total, but there are strong geographical variations – rising to 32% in London.
  • Across all construction courses covered by this survey there were 40% more applicants than starters – which equates to an average of just over 1.4 applicants for every available place.
  • Scaffolding and Civil Engineering were the most over-subscribed courses, while Specialist Building Courses were the least so.
  • Courses at S/NVQ Level 1 are the most oversubscribed, while S/NVQ Level 3 are the least so.
  • The North West of England is the most oversubscribed region with 2 applicants for every place whereas Yorkshire & Humber is the least oversubscribed region with just 1.2 applicants for every place.
  • The biggest shortfalls in work placements for those studying Construction Awards were in London, by contrast Yorkshire & Humber, had almost no disparity between work experience places require and achieved.
  • Predicted demand compared to the amount of training taking place shows that the main construction trades are relatively well catered for; however there are too few trainees to meet demand for Steel Erectors, Plant Mechanics, Glaziers, Floorers, Roofers, and Other Specialist Building Operatives.

For more information about this report, contact


Trainee Numbers Survey 2001/2002 43kb PDF file
Trainee Numbers Survey 2002/2003
143kb PDF file
Trainee Numbers Survey 2003/2004
73kb PDF file
Trainee Numbers Survey 2004/2005
74kb PDF file
Trainee Numbers Survey 2005/2006
492kb PDF file

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