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FMB calls for greater apprentice attention

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has urged the government to provide greater impetus to the development of high-quality apprentices in the construction industry.

Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said in the wake of the recommendations made in the Richards Review to prioritise quality over quantity when it comes to the training of apprentices, the government should aim to equip youngsters with the technical skills required to excel in the field.

He commented: "Construction industry apprenticeships are designed to equip learners with the craft and technical skills needed to start a sustainable career and government funding must continue to support employers, particularly smaller ones, to make this investment in their own business and the future workforce."

Mr Berry added that to meet the requirements of the future construction sector, funding needs to be provided to help businesses take on more apprentices or the government faces the real possibility of a key skills shortage in the years to come.

In addition, he welcomed news that both young people and operators in the buildings sector are to be given easier access to data relating to apprenticeship programmes and grants, as well as identifying inconsistencies in quality and outcomes.

Earlier this month, the FMB also issued a call to the government to shift its focus from large to small-scale developments in order to tackle the country's ongoing housing crisis.

Mr Berry stated that 'micro sites' already exist in towns and cities across the country and it would take very little effort to help small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) builders to make use of these spaces to deliver much-needed properties.

He concluded: "If the government wants quick results it needs to provide more immediate assistance to the large number of dormant SME house builders who could mobilise quickly to deliver housing jobs and growth." 

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