Construction apprenticeships plummet in London

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The fig of operation apprenticeships starting successful London has fallen for each of the past 3 years, probe has revealed.

Data published by the London Assembly Economy Committee showed that 18 per cent less radical began operation apprenticeships successful the superior successful 2020/21 than successful 2017/18.

This acold outstripped a 3 per cent dip successful the full fig of apprenticeship starts crossed each sectors successful London implicit the aforesaid clip period.

The committee said less apprenticeships were connected connection past twelvemonth than earlier the much-heralded Apprenticeship Levy was introduced successful 2017.

Recommendations made to ministers successful the committee’s report included instauration of fiscal incentives for employers to prosecute apprentices who are disabled oregon nether the property of 19.

Economy Committee seat Neil Garratt said: “Apprenticeships are a invaluable instrumentality successful providing pathways into enactment and an fantabulous accidental for the existing workforce to summation caller skills.

“But our probe heard that determination remains a deficiency of consciousness of apprenticeships among some employers and young people. This means missed opportunities for employers to make their workforce and missed opportunities for radical struggling to find a vocation way that is close for them.”

The estimated fig of Level 2 apprenticeships successful London – crossed each sectors – has fallen by 62 per cent since 2016/17, according to the study, portion the fig of apprentices nether the property of 19 has fallen by half.

SMEs successful peculiar connection less apprenticeships since the levy was introduced, the committee found. It called for the authorities to let businesses to transportation a greater proportionality of their levy backing to smaller, non-levy paying firms.

Graham Watts, main enforcement of the Construction Industry Council, said manufacture apprentice numbers were dilatory picking up nationwide aft a dip during the pandemic.

But helium added that the “level of bureaucracy” progressive successful offering apprenticeships formed an obstacle for smaller firms successful particular.

Beyond this was a broader situation for the sector, helium added, successful improving “the illustration and attractiveness of the manufacture for schoolhouse leavers”.

Deputy politician of London for skills Jules Pipe said astatine a gathering of the Economy Committee past period that determination was a “1950s view" astir "some of the roles… specified arsenic construction”.

He added: “These are retired of day and we request to determination them on. We request to amended the consciousness of apprenticeships, the prime of what exists present and the modular and breadth of careers that spell connected from those.”

Helen Yeulet, who leads the Skills Group astatine engineering commercialized assemblage confederation Actuate UK, said the “very debased levels” of operation apprenticeship grooming highlighted by the committee study was “consistent with our ain information from the engineering services sector”.

She added: “Most engineering services employers successful London thin to beryllium tiny oregon mean size firms and person faced galore challenges implicit caller years, including disruption owed to COVID-19.

“Actuate UK welcomes the committee’s absorption connected addressing barriers to instrumentality up of apprenticeships successful London and would invited the accidental to enactment much intimately to summation levels of instrumentality up, particularly arsenic we grapple with the request for greenish skills for the aboriginal and an ageing workforce.”

Lee Bryer, manufacture penetration manager astatine the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), said the figures successful the Economy Committee survey were “broadly successful enactment with nationalist trends and bespeak CITB’s latest analysis”.

He pointed retired that the 2 per cent driblet successful operation apprenticeship starts successful the superior betwixt 2016/2017 and 2020/2021 was smaller than successful galore different sectors.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted numbers since 2019, with assurance to enlistee an apprentice lower,” said Bryer.

“The constitution of the operation assemblage successful London volition besides beryllium a factor. It has a precocious proportionality of ample firms and little levels of nonstop employment. Although London has precise important unmet operation demand, it besides has a precise divers system and the unit connected long-established sectors similar operation is gradually becoming much acute arsenic request increases elsewhere – notably accusation and connection technology.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said expanding apprenticeship starts "remains a cardinal priority".

"Since 2010, determination person been implicit 5 cardinal apprenticeship starts," they added. "It is besides large to spot a large emergence successful the fig of radical starting apprenticeships successful the archetypal 4th of this world twelvemonth – up 43% connected past year.

“We volition proceed to enactment with employers to boost the fig of apprenticeships disposable including by expanding apprenticeship backing by £2.7 cardinal by 2024-25 to enactment businesses of each sizes to physique the skilled workforce they need.”

Last summer, the CITB recovered that an other 216,800 operation workers would beryllium needed by 2025 to conscionable demand.

But figures released by the Office for National Statistics past month showed that the fig of self-employed workers successful operation deed its lowest level for 18 years successful 2021.

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