Building trades need to be prioritised for new skills funding, says FMB

Construction must be made a strategic priority for life learning, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the Prime Minister’s speech today outlining an expansion of post-18 education and training.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Government intends for us to ‘build, build, build’ our way to economic recovery, but the construction industry is facing a skills shortage which is hampering our ability to do so. One in three builders can’t hire a bricklayer and one in four can’t hire general labourers. The Government is right to invest in further education, but it should focus on the building trades as a priority.”

Berry concluded: “The Government’s pledge to review and reform apprenticeship training is very encouraging provided it can lead to more local builders training more apprentices. This should mean forging stronger links between SMEs and colleges so that they have access to the communication and support that they need. Extra funding for colleges needs to include ringfenced funds for them to employ industry liaison officers who could act as a conduit between the colleges, students and employers to help join up the dots.”