The REC’s construction group has announced its commitment to work in partnership with contractors to devise and promote apprenticeship schemes in the sector.

The group, which represents more than 400 specialised agencies, has already been working with the sector’s skills council, CITB – Construction Skills, on how agencies can support more on-site training for construction agency workers.

Simon Noakes, Chair of REC Construction said:

“The construction industry is coming out of the recent recession severely injured, but looking at a promising year ahead. With big projects on both a national level, like the Olympic Games, and on a local level, like the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, we see a rise in demand for construction skills.

“In order to meet the challenge our industry needs to invest now in building the talent pipeline for the future. We believe that apprenticeship schemes can pay off in the long term. It is only by strategically selecting, developing and retaining the right talent that we can ensure sustainable growth.

“The need for apprentices becomes even clearer with skills councils facing acute funding shortages as seen recently with the reduction of the Construction Skills grant. We are committed to working in effective partnerships with employers, skills council, such as Construction Skills and other industry bodies to ensure the future of the sector does not suffer .

“Specialised recruiters have a major role to play in delivering more opportunities in the sector and building the construction workforce of the future.”

The REC’s Youth Employment Taskforce produced its ‘Avoiding a Lost Generation’ report earlier in the year. This included practical recommendations to Government on up-skilling young jobseekers.
Gaining experience though apprenticeships in real jobs was a core finding of the report. Other recommendations include revamping careers services, stimulating demand for new staff and raising awareness of the changing employment landscape.