UK construction leaders have called for a unified push to help those struggling to enter the jobs market as a result of Covid-19.
The pandemic has hit hard among those looking for a first job as previous avenues of employment have dried up.
Now the Construction Leadership Council is challenging the industry to act, in a step that will also help reduce future skills shortages. It is asking employers to promote their current and forthcoming apprenticeship opportunities, giving a pathway to a career for jobseekers.
Businesses in England - from brick-makers and builders to civil engineers and shopfitters - are being asked to post their new apprenticeship offers on the UK government’s national apprenticeship service.
CLC Skills workstream co-chair Sarah Beale said: “The last year has been an uncertain time for everyone but hits particularly hard for those entering the job market for the first time. Many sectors are not recruiting as they look to reduce employment as a response to the pandemic.
“The construction sector is one part of the economy that has, in part, been able to continue trading. We know that with big targets for housebuilding and infrastructure construction, we will soon need more people than we have. As such, there is a positive case for promoting careers in the construction sector.
“We want to make joining construction as easy as possible. To help we are asking all employers to advertise any planned apprenticeships via the key government platforms. This will mean that anyone looking for an apprentice will quickly be able to find an opportunity in construction”.
Fellow CLC Skills workstream co-chair, and Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds said: “Where businesses are recruiting there is a moral responsibility to try to help those who are struggling to find work. We have a real opportunity to help people across the UK, while securing the future for our sector. I would strongly encourage everyone to support this by advertising their apprenticeship roles”.
The CLC’s Apprenticeship Challenge forms part of the Council’s wider skills plan, which is due for publication next month.
The news follows hot-on-the-heels of the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium launching its new online apprenticeships hub earlier this week, with the TAC refocussing to become a one-stop skills resource for the industry.