The construction industry is facing an unprecedented challenge to maintain its future amid an increase in demand for construction skills.
Construction apprentices will be given the chance to take on apprenticeships after the Government’s Construction Skills Loan Scheme (CSL) was announced in March.
In an interview with The Independent, Mr Hammer said: “The construction industry has been hit hard by the recent global financial crisis and we’re struggling to pay back debts, so it’s really important we provide the right apprenticeships to help keep the industry strong and growing.”
“The CSL scheme will allow apprentices to take advantage of the skills and experience they will have from their previous careers, and give them the chance of finding a new and rewarding career in construction.”
He said the Government would provide the money to fund apprenticeships through the CSL programme, which will start with the Government building works, including the £10 million Londonderry Works.
“The scheme will provide a small sum of funding over a period of six months, and it will provide the necessary training and the experience to build the infrastructure needed to deliver this work,” Mr Hammer told The Independent.
“It will allow us to help fill the gap and deliver a real boost to the construction industry.”
“I think this will give apprentices the chance for a good start and build up their skills and confidence.” “
‘Greater opportunities’ A key factor for apprentices to be successful in their chosen career was the length of their training. “
I think this will give apprentices the chance for a good start and build up their skills and confidence.”
‘Greater opportunities’ A key factor for apprentices to be successful in their chosen career was the length of their training.
Mr Hammer added: ‘I’m confident that apprentices will have the right experience, the right qualifications and the right skills to get the job done, and I think that will be an even greater opportunity for them than they’ve had before.’
He said apprentices would also benefit from the introduction of a number of new apprenticeships.
He said: ‘The apprenticeship is an opportunity for young people who’ve never had a choice, who are trying to get into a different career.
“You can take it from being a construction worker, to being a gardener, to be a mechanic, to building an electric fence, to something else.”‘
A huge opportunity’ The CSL has seen a significant increase in applications since it was announced, with the number of applications increasing from 18,000 to 35,000.
The Government hopes to have the scheme up and running in 2020.
However, the Government will only cover those aged 16 to 25, and only those working on government projects.
“If you’ve got to work on a construction project or you’ve just got to make sure you have the skills to work at an existing building, the CSR doesn’t cover you,” Mr Torch said.
“In many cases you will need to work in your home city, or you can find a different job that is suitable for you.”
Construction apprenticeship schemes were previously introduced to help build roads and other infrastructure projects, but the scheme is due to be extended to provide a further £3.8 billion in funding to support the construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.
The Department of Communities, Local Government and Local Government (DCGLG) has also announced plans to create a new building apprenticeship scheme for women.
The scheme will start in April with an initial £2,000 grant, and will provide apprentices with up to 12 weeks of training in the field of construction.