Covid-19: Scottish construction employers rethink apprentices

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Scottish construction employers, apprentices

A new study has revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more than half of Scottish construction employers to rethink hiring apprentices

The survey, which received over 600 responses, was conducted in collaboration with the Scottish Construction Modern Apprenticeship Task Force and CITB.

CITB explained that the aim of the survey was to understand the views of Scottish construction employers on their immediate and longer-term plans.

The findings revealed that:

  • Coronavirus has caused just over half (55%) of Scottish construction employers who had planned to recruit an apprentice this year to change their plans
  • Additional support measures such as grants and funding, subsidised wages, and work trials would be helpful in encouraging these employers to hire an apprentice
  • Over three quarters (76%) of employers saw value in this year’s apprentice applicants completing construction pre-employment training.

Support pathways to apprenticeships

The results were shared with the Scottish government, who have since committed £60m to support pathways to apprenticeships and create additional opportunities in colleges through a new Youth Guarantee.

CITB will soon also unveil its longer-term strategic plan to support skills and training in the industry, as it moves towards the recovery phase.

CITB partnerships director Scotland, Ian Hughes, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many employers engaging with our recent survey. I’d like to thank all those who took part and provided vital insight into the help that is needed.

“Following feedback, we will be ensuring apprenticeship grants are maintained at their present levels.

“We are also working with government, industry and the FE sector to investigate how best we can design a pre-apprenticeship training programme that can retain talent.

“It’s essential that we provide the support employers need to protect and secure the future of apprenticeships.”

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