The Federation of Master Builders

Apprenticeships and Skills

The FMB believes firmly in supporting businesses that invest in the future workforce by taking on and training apprentices. Apprenticeships combine practical on-site training with off-site learning so a good balance of technical skills and workplace experience is achieved.

Construction Skills Shortage

Apprentice with mentorThe construction industry is in the midst of a skills shortage. If we do not attract more new entrants into the construction sector, we will not be able to sustain the increase in construction growth that we have seen over the past two years. As our industry is a key driver of economic growth, it is no exaggeration to say that the health of the wider economy hangs on the construction sector being able to defuse this skills time bomb. Without more construction apprentices, we will not be able to deliver the new and refurbished homes, schools, hospitals, energy and transport infrastructure which our society so desperately needs.

According to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), as the UK construction sector continues to recover from the recent economic downturn, 220,000 new roles will be created over the coming five years. Furthermore, the construction industry has an aging workforce with 400,000 individuals expected to retire in the next five to ten years.

Defusing the Skills time bomb - FMB Research Report

The FMB believes that the industry must take a leading role in addressing the current and expected future shortfall of skilled workers. One of the most effective ways of doing this will be to increase the number of construction apprenticeships. Small firms train two-thirds of all construction apprentices so it is vital that we understand any barriers they face.

The FMB published a major new research report “Defusing the skills time bomb: Boosting apprenticeship training through construction SMEs” at a high profile event in the House of Commons in November 2015 with Skills Minister Nick Boles MP.

The report examines the barriers to small construction firms training apprentices and makes a number of recommendations to the Government, CITB and the FMB itself regarding how we can remove these barriers.

The full report can be read here

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