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NAPIT Highlight Construction Skills Shortage

Posted by Christos Panayiotou on 22nd August 2014

NAPIT one of the UK’s leading competent persons scheme provider have highlighted the need for more to be done to meet the increasing skills shortage in the construction sector. Recent reports show that the industry is needs to fill 182,000 jobs in the next five years to keep the economic recovery on track. The latest Construction Trade Survey from the Construction Products Association states that the sector has continued to grow despite various challenges. This means more demand for installers on wide variety of projects both domestic and commercial.

Ian Halton, NAPIT’s Training and Business Relationship Director said: “The construction industry desperately needs an influx of skilled installers to meet increasing demand and apprenticeships are a great way to achieve this. We feel that more must be done to ensure younger people are still entering various trades within the construction industry and gaining the appropriate skills to do so. If this skills gap is allowed to grow, the future of the industry is not looking secure.”

NAPIT has called on its members to take part in a scheme to help create work experience and apprenticeship placements as a means to help bridge this gap and we fully support this campaign. Here at Trade Skills 4U we know just how hard it is to find an installer willing to take on an apprentice these days. Despite the fact that 96 per cent of employers who take on an apprentice report it has a positive impact for their company, the fact remains that in an industry where 90% of the companies are micro-businesses it is still near on impossible for many to find a placement.

This has been the case for many years and our customers know it too, which is why many choose to self-fund their training, front load it and then enter the industry with skills that immediately add value for employers. Of those attending our City & Guilds 2365 Diploma courses over 90% find employment either during or shortly after completing the course. Most will then also self-fund their NVQ essentially funding the whole apprenticeship process themselves.

This model helps break the main issue with the traditional apprenticeship which is the chicken and egg scenario of needing an employer first to get trained. For many this simply serves as a huge barrier to starting out in the industry. What is important is that installers get the right training and the right experience be that on an apprenticeship scheme or by self funding their training to break into the industry.

We agree that more needs to be done to encourage both employers to take on an apprentice and also for brighter students to be encouraged to recognise that apprenticeships are an excellent way to progress their careers.

With the industry continuing to take off the demand for Domestic Installers will continue to rise also. The route to qualifying as a domestic electrician is much shorter than a full apprenticeship and this could help relieve the pressure on the commercial sector and help us meet the increasing demand. It could be that a shorter apprenticeship scheme for domestic electricians comes into force which would be a great way for new entrants to take their first steps as an installer.

We too are working with employers to help our students find placements. We have set up www.trade-buddy.co.uk and expanding our relationships with employers looking to take on trainee electricians or electricians mates.

What is clear is that to meet any of these demands we need to somehow convince the micro businesses of the benefits of an extra pair of hands especially in a growing market. If you can take on apprentice or provide a work experience placement for an electrical installer please contact us and we can help you find someone who fits your needs.

Are you an installer who’s looking to take on apprentices? Contact NAPIT on 0845 5430330 or email awes@napit.org.uk for more information about the scheme. All NAPIT installers who take on apprentices will get £30 off their renewal fees and up to £30 off for providing a work experience placement, depending on the length of the placement.