Construction apprenticeships set a national example
A pioneering way of creating construction apprenticeships has been praised in the run up to national apprenticeships week (6-10 February).
The Construction Futures scheme, which is the first of its kind in the UK, makes the delivery of apprenticeships a legal requirement for developers that receive planning permission. Established by the WNDC, the scheme is helping local planning authorities create new jobs for their communities.
Young trainees and apprentices have been working on sites across Northamptonshire as part of the programme. They are recruited from local colleges, who work in partnership with the Construction Futures team, the local planning authorities, and the building contractors.
Chris Millar, Leader of Daventry District Council said: “This scheme ensures local communities directly benefit from the job opportunities created on new construction sites. It is a simple but innovative model that local planning authorities across the country could follow. I really think it has the potential to make a national impact”
Neil Dellar, Head of the Construction Faculty at Moulton College said: “We have found the Construction Futures scheme to be a very effective link between our students studying at Moulton College and industry. It’s a powerful way of helping them make the transition into the world of work, which is crucial at a time when the first step onto the job market is getting increasingly more difficult”
Despite an increase in public funding and a 50% rise in apprenticeships in the country as a whole, the number of construction apprenticeships started in 2010/11 only rose by 5%. The industry generally has poor links with training providers and is suffering from the recession more than most sectors. Construction Futures has proved to be an effective solution to the problem.
Trainees from the Construction Futures scheme were visited by Business Secretary Vince Cable during a recent visit to Northampton. He saw the national potential of the approach and commented: “Northampton is showing that despite tough economic conditions there are still innovative ways that new jobs and growth can be delivered at a local level. I am particularly pleased to see apprentices working on live construction sites as part of the Construction Futures scheme, which offers an effective way to secure job opportunities for young people.”