A BUILDING industry boss has welcomed efforts to encourage more firms to take on apprentices.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said the Government was right to recognise that employers needed more say when it came to the content of apprenticeship qualifications.
Commenting on the Government’s response to the Richard Review of Apprenticeships, he said: “Over the past two years, the number of small construction firms employing an apprentice has fallen.
“Despite the fall in construction output since 2008, the sector still has a recruitment requirement of almost 30,000 per year.”
He said: “Employers must have confidence that apprenticeship qualifications are suited to the needs of their business before investing in a new recruit.
“We agree with the Government that in addition to the ‘core’ elements of any qualification, there should be ‘options’ employers can pick from.
“In the construction industry, this would provide flexibility for multi-trade firms and benefit employers who want more say on the type of skills their apprentices learn at college.”
Mr Berry said: “While we welcome the potential benefits of restructuring apprenticeships, changes to the funding arrangements must take into account the needs of small employers.”