Recruitment of Scottish construction apprentices has grown for the seventh consecutive year, new figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) reveal.
In 2017, CITB Scotland directly trained 1,930 new modern apprentices, up 36% from 1,422 apprentices in 2011.
With nearly 5,000 apprentices currently in training, up 7% on 2016 figures, CITB is the single largest training provider of Modern Apprenticeships across all frameworks in Scotland.
During Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018 (5-9 March), employers are being encouraged to consider taking on an apprentice for the first time, or to add to their current workforce, to help this upward trend continue.
Applications to become a CITB Scotland apprentice for 2018 are already over 3,000, showing the importance of employers offering up opportunities.
Up to £10,250 of CITB grant funding is available to levy paying employers for every apprentice they employ.
And with CITB research released last month predicting that over 10,000 new workers are needed in Scotland in the next five years, there is no better time to encourage people to join the industry.
Employers and anyone considering a career in construction can get all the information they need via the construction industry’s website, Go Construct.
Ian Hughes, partnerships director at CITB Scotland, said: “Scottish Apprenticeship Week is the perfect platform to highlight the benefits apprenticeships provide to employers of all sizes.
“We already have thousands of people on our books looking to take up an apprenticeship in the coming year.
“Whilst there is a very strong culture amongst employers to train apprentices, it is vital additional employers from across Scotland come forward to recruit these applicants.
“As an industry we are very keen to invest in the right people to maintain and enhance the skills our industry requires.
“I encourage all employers who are interested, or require more information, to get in touch with our very experienced apprenticeships team.
“The Scottish construction industry needs a skilled workforce to help build the homes and infrastructure we need, and an apprenticeship offers the perfect first step on the path to a rewarding career.”
Minister for employability and training, Jamie Hepburn, said: “Apprenticeships are life changing opportunities – providing the chance, not only to work and earn, but also to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions and I am delighted to see apprenticeships grow in the construction sector for the seventh consecutive year.
“The Scottish Governments’ continuing commitment to grow, widen and enhance the Scottish Apprenticeship family is providing more opportunities than ever before.
“We recognise that apprenticeships are an essential way for all employers in Scotland, regardless of size and sector to develop their workforce and contribute to business and economic growth.”