Tuesday 21st August 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Report finds "learning a trade" is best way for school leavers to develop a long-term career
As the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) launches its search for the best building apprentice in Britain, new research* reveals that the best option for school leavers looking to establish themselves in a career is to learn a trade that interests them.
In a survey of 1,000 adults across the UK, almost half of respondents (45%) thought that school leavers should learn a trade, with a further quarter (24%) saying they should take up an apprenticeship. Going to university was considered a sensible option by just 23% of respondents nationally, who may well be deterred by the high cost of academic study, with no guarantee of a well-paid career on graduation.
The FMB's Apprentice of the Year Award celebrates the achievements of highly skilled young craftspeople who will form the backbone of the construction industry in future years. The winning apprentice receives a cash prize of £1000, with a further cash prize for his or her employer.
Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive, said: "The university admissions service confirmed that university applications from UK students for courses starting in the autumn are down 8.9% on last year. This will be the first intake to face higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 each year.
"In contrast, apprenticeships are an excellent way for young people to earn while they learn, and the construction industry’s vocational training provides them with a marketable skill that can act as a stepping stone for those with an entrepreneurial spirit to set up or run their own business."
Mark Farrar Chief Executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills – one of the the Award’s sponsors said: "Construction is an increasingly sophisticated and technology driven industry, which offers a wide range of exciting careers and good opportunities to reach the top. There is always demand for high quality recruits and I would encourage young people who are just receiving their GCSE or A-level results to take a close look at the range of amazing jobs the construction industry has to offer."
Berry added: "We want to put talented young people in the spotlight and promote a positive image of an industry long-threatened by skills shortages.
If you know a building apprentice who is leading the way in his or her chosen trade, with high quality craft skills and a ‘can-do’ attitude, make sure you enter them into the Apprentice of the Year Awards."
The competition, which is run in conjunction with the FMB's Master Builder of the Year Awards, is open to apprentices working for any construction company, not just FMB members.
You can find more information about the Apprentice of the Year Award and the Master Builder of the Year Awards, the FMB’s search for the best builder in Britain at www.fmb.org.uk/MBOYAwards. The closing date for entries is 30 September 2012.
*Research used in the release is from a survey of 1,000 people from across the UK carried out by CAG during April 2012, commissioned by the FMB.