Latest Government figures show construction and trades apprenticeships still in decline

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  Posted by: electime      10th December 2021

The Government’s latest figures show the uptake of apprenticeships in the construction and trades sectors is still on the decline, despite widespread skills shortages across the industry. 

The figures show 20,000 apprenticeships were started in the sector between November 2020 and 2021, a nine per cent drop on the previous 12 months and 11 per cent down on 2018/19. 

The decline reflects the wider trend, which saw apprenticeships down by 0.3 per cent across the board in England. 

Helen Booth, Director of the HomeServe Foundation, said: “These latest Government figures show the skills gap in the trade and construction industry is still growing and there’s a lot of work to do to build the sustainable pipeline of talent we need to see to satisfy the growing demand for these services. 

“While the pandemic has certainly had a detrimental impact on practical, hands-on training, the industry must now roll up its sleeves with renewed vigour to develop the next generation of skilled workers to build a lasting legacy for the British economy. Crucial to this is finding new and creative ways to link firms directly with talented people who can help them grow and inspiring our next generation of future tradespeople about roles within the industry.” 

The new figures from the Department of Education show there were 321,400 apprenticeships starts in England over the last 12 months, compared to 322,500 in the same period in 2019/20.  

But graduations overall increased by 6.6 per cent.  

The HomeServe Foundation’s launched its first report on trade sector skills – the UK Domestic Trades Skills Index – earlier this year. It found the UK needs a 44 per cent increase in apprenticeships year-on-year to cope with rising demand for construction, home repairs and improvements and renewable energy installation targets.  

The next report outlining the challenges and risks to plugging the trade and construction skills gaps is due out in the new year.