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Government announces increase in apprenticeships

The construction industry has long been aware that the shortage of skilled workers will cause problems in the sector, and this issue has already begun to raise its head as firms across the UK reveal that they are turning down work due to a lack of trained personnel.
In a bid to continue to tackle the increasing problem, the government have announced their intended reforms for apprenticeships, and plans to create three million apprenticeships by 2020.
The UK Prime Minister has outlined proposals to lead to the increase of apprenticeships available and is inviting companies across the UK to submit their views on the proposal of a levy, planned for introduction in 2017, enabling employers to select and pay for apprenticeship training. The proposed ‘Apprenticeship Levy’ is aimed at encouraging larger construction companies to ‘invest in the future generation of apprenticeships.’
It is not clear at the moment whether the new levy will affect the existing apprenticeship levy that is in place through the CITB, and the government are exploring their options to decide whether companies will pay both levies. Consultations are taking place with the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), who remain committed to the provision of skilled workers for the future of the construction industry.
There is still uncertainty surrounding the proposals from industry participants, who are concerned about the funding aspects for smaller businesses, and how they will fare with continued government spending cuts, particularly within the area of public sector contracts, which make up almost 40% of the country’s construction output.