From the 1st August, ConstructionSkills will provide employers with an increased level of financial support, in excess of £9,400 in CITB-ConstructionSkills Grant, to help them take on an apprentice and meet these new targets.

After the Governments" announcement, that by 2013 they want more young people continuing in post-16 training and education. ConstructionSkills is urging the construction industry to take on apprentices or risk falling further behind competitor countries.

In addition, the Government is expected to back recommendations to improve UK skills, including a target of 500,000 people on apprenticeships across all sectors by 2020.There are currently only 250,000 apprentices working in all sectors.

In order to increase the number of apprenticeships, ConstructionSkills are going to have to recruit more employers to take on young people.

Director of ConstructionSkills Apprenticeships, Max Hamps, said: "Apprentices are not only essential to the future of the construction industry but to the future of the UK economy."

"ConstructionSkills helps take the hassle out of recruiting an apprentice, offering ongoing advisory and significant financial support to your business. Our commitment is to finding the right apprentice to suit each construction business and with a 70% completion rate."

ConstructionSkills is now calling on companies of all sizes to recognise construction apprentices as a vital resource, and to commit to helping young people enter the industry.

Companies that already employ apprentices are backing up the call to action, as they have seen the benefits first hand.

ConstructionSkills places approximately 9,500 traditional apprentices per year through its Apprenticeship Division "“ all of who have been pre-screened to establish that they are of a good standard.

To help the employer and the apprentice through the apprenticeship, ConstructionSkills offers ongoing mentoring and support from an Apprenticeship Officer as well as CITB-ConstructionSkills Grant of up to £9,400 over three years.

For more information, visit www.cskills.org/apprenticeships or contact your local ConstructionSkills office.

Chris Mitchell

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