The Welsh Government’s pledge to invest in high quality apprenticeships will be welcome news to the construction industry, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Cymru has said in response to the announcement of a new Welsh Apprenticeships Policy.
Ifan Glyn, Director of FMB Cymru, said: “We welcome the commitment made by the Welsh Government to higher level apprenticeships, which will ensure Level 4 and above qualifications will be given priority in the coming years. Given the financial constraints the Welsh Government are being forced to contend with by Westminster, the importance of prioritising higher level apprenticeships capable of giving maximum return on investment is paramount. It’s undoubtedly positive news that the construction industry, which is set to take a central role in the Welsh economy in the coming years, has been recognised as one of those areas where the need for more skilled labour is urgent. Investment in construction apprenticeships is an investment in the economic health of this country.”
Glyn continued: “The big challenge now will be to attract people into construction. The loss of talent suffered in the years following the financial crisis has done enormous damage to the sector’s skills base and many remain wary of entering into the industry, despite the excellent wages and prospects a career in construction offers. This, combined with gradual erosion in the quality of construction apprenticeships over a number of decades, has combined to create a huge skills crisis for the sector. A commitment to invest in higher level apprenticeships, and to really focus on attracting people into those areas, will hopefully see this trend reversed and construction businesses of all sizes begin to have access to the skilled staff they need.”