Our campaign

The construction industry currently faces a multitude of challenges, one of which is a skills shortage. We need to attract more people into the industry, from all backgrounds, otherwise we are going to struggle to build the homes we need, as well as deliver the country’s new infrastructure projects. At the FMB, we are campaigning to make it easier for SMEs to take on apprentices, and to provide training for their existing workforce in order to upskill the industry to retrofit our homes.

We want to see:

  • More collaboration with similarly aligned organisations such as CITB to help develop stronger links between colleges and the local SME community to help create more successful apprenticeships.
  • Greater flexibility in the Apprenticeship Levy so that it works for businesses.
  • A new ‘General Builder’ apprenticeship standard launched by the end of 2023.
  • Strengthening relationships with MPs and the Government to get more investment in green skills through a National Retrofit Strategy (NRS).

Got a question?

Speak to our policy team on 020 7025 2934 or send us an email.

Email policy team


Key resources

Train local, work local, stay local - Retrofit, growth and levelling up covershot.PNG

Train local, work local, stay local: Retrofit, growth and levelling up

In partnership with the IPPR we looked at the connection between the repair maintenance and improvement sector, retrofitting and levelling up.

CITB report Perspective and pathways covershot

Net Zero and construction: Perspective and pathways

This CITB report provides an in-depth understanding of the net zero challenge for construction employers.

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Trading up: A blueprint for collaboration to boost construction apprenticeships

This report puts forward a blueprint for how industry bodies can work in partnership to scale-up current levels of training among our domestic workforce.

iStock Skills and Training site apprentices woman CITB logo

CITB’s New entrant team

Read more about the New entrant team, introduced to deliver a support service to employers already employing or considering employing apprentices.


CITB’s employer network pilot

Read more about the CITB's 12 month initiative to simplify the way you get the support and funding you need to access the training you want.

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CITB's grants and funding

View the grants available for apprenticeships across England, Scotland and Wales.

How we are representing your views

Local builders train 71% of the apprentices in the construction industry.

In our recent State of Trade Survey, we found that at least one third of FMB members are struggling to recruit carpenters, bricklayers and general labourers. The FMB utilises our strong link with government to influence policies that favour the various skills challenges within the construction industry.

The FMB regularly meets with MPs in Parliament as well as sits of various boards alongside the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). This means our members can contribute their views to decision makers. We also have a dedicated policy group which brings together FMB members who are passionate about training and industry partners like the CITB, Institute for Apprenticeships and representatives of colleges.

Trailblazer Groups

The FMB has established a Trailblazer Group that is in the process of developing a General Builder apprenticeship standard. We hope to deliver this apprenticeship in colleges in the near future. The General Builder Standard will provide school leavers and aspiring construction workers with the key foundational skills to work on a construction site, all in one course.

The qualification will equip trainees with skills in four of the key trades which are:

  • Bricklaying
  • Carpentry
  • Plastering
  • Painting & Decorating

The course will also include training on green skills and retrofit methods to increase energy efficiency in homes and the course will provide an understanding of the importance of thermal qualities, airtightness and ventilation. As it stands, there is a distinct shortage of construction workers with these skills. The apprentices on the course will work alongside skilled operatives to develop the full range of skills and improve their employability with a well-rounded skillset.

Key achievements

  • Producing research with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on how a National Retrofit Strategy is an opportunity to develop green skills and level up our communities.
  • Further developing the General Builder apprenticeship standard.
  • Developing the apprenticeship standards in bricklaying and plastering.
  • Reforms to the UK Apprenticeship Levy.
  • Partnering with Volunteer It Yourself to give young people in South London some work experience on a community project.

Latest guidance on skills and training

Latest updates on skills and training

Get involved

Do you want to know more about this campaign or are you an FMB member and would like to get involved? Then please email our policy team.

Contact policy team

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