SMEs driving up quality of construction apprenticeships

Published date: 17 May 2016

A high-quality new apprenticeship standard for plastering has been approved by the Government as part of the trailblazer initiative, with a new bricklaying standard to be agreed in the near future. The new standards, which have been designed as part of an innovative collaboration led by construction SMEs from across England, will be rolled out as soon as autumn 2017.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “Developing the new standards has been an exciting process, which FMB members are proud to be playing a part in. The new bricklaying and plastering apprenticeship standards have been driven by a dynamic group, consisting of training providers, awarding bodies and – crucially – employers who are determined to drive up the quality of training in the construction industry. Given that two-thirds of all construction apprentices are trained by SMEs, no businesses are better suited to lead this piece of work. However, although FMB members are leading on this piece of work, it’s important to note that these standards also have the official backing of our industry more broadly, following an extensive consultation process.”

Berry concluded: “The Government has a target to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020 but quantity must never come at the price of quality. We’re pleased that the Government has supported us in our mission to design standards that are highly skilled for these vital trades. We believe that the new standards we are developing will ensure that future generations of bricklayers and plasterers will not only have excellent technical knowledge and craft skills, but will result in young people with careers that are packed full of potential. Importantly, the people who enrol in these apprenticeships will be well placed to work for either a large contractor or a small micro-business – it’s vital that our industry offers new entrants this kind of flexibility.”

Skills Minister Nick Boles MP commented: “I congratulate all the employers involved in designing the new Plastering apprenticeship standard. By giving leading employers the power to design and deliver high quality apprenticeships we are giving people the vital skills our businesses need. We are committed to three million apprenticeships by 2020 because apprenticeships deliver benefits to employers, apprentices and the economy.”

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