The standard for apprenticeships in the UK is expected to increase due to new apprenticeship schemes in bricklaying and plastering. Brian Berry, the Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders has suggested that the initial announcement to attempt to increase apprenticeships to 3 million by 2020 could have led to an ideal that quantity is better than quality. However, this week the Government has improved its commitment to working with the construction industry by increasing the quality of the apprenticeship training and approving these new standards alongside the increased encouragement to deliver more apprenticeships.
Research carried out by the FMB has shown that two-thirds of SMEs, or Small and Medium Enterprises, think that the overall quality of apprenticeships in the construction industry has decreased over the past 30 years. The research has also revealed that over 70% of smaller construction companies would be more likely to train an apprentice if the quality of construction apprenticeships and standards improved.
It is noted that SMEs in the construction industry are who train two thirds of all apprentices, and if they are reluctant to take on apprentices due to the low quality of training. Therefore, the government putting their weight behind improving the quality and standards of apprenticeships will be reassuring for those construction companies when taking on apprentices.
Named the Government’s Trailblazer process, the intention is to give more control back to the employers in order to make sure that the apprenticeship training does actually reflect what is required when working on site. A number of different large and small employers have given up their time in order to create these apprenticeship standards. Because of this the standard reflects what will actually be necessary to work in the construction industry. The standards set out by the construction companies means that there will be a higher standard of training for apprentices, which will mean that they will be taught to perform more technical tasks.