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Could apprenticeship funding affect plant hire recruitment?

Posted on 26/01/2015 by Dave Irons

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Government proposals on construction apprenticeship funding could have far-reaching consequences throughout the industry, from those working on building new homes and commercial premises, to related disciplines like plant hire recruitment.

Throughout the sector, experience and expertise have always been highly valued, and construction remains an industry where education is largely vocational, including a wealth of on-the-job knowledge picked up by watching others work.

It is an industry in which old values still hold firm, 'respect your elders' is a watchword for professional competence, and many long-term artisans thrive on the positive word of mouth associated with their name.

But apparently non-negotiable government proposals are making it impossible for those currently in the industry to offer apprenticeships to those wishing to enter the profession, because MPs want the full cost of the apprenticeship to be paid by the employer upfront.

That's like hiring a new member of staff and having to pay their first year's wages in advance, and could decimate the availability of construction apprenticeships.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: "If SME firms - particularly micro-firms - are asked to pay for apprenticeship training upfront it will have a negative impact on cash flow and increase levels of bureaucracy no matter how simple the system is."

Whatever happens in the end, the construction recruitment segment will respond accordingly, ensuring plant hire recruitment and other specialist disciplines continue to receive the good-quality candidates they need.