Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield has been making the news again this month, calling for a revival of local training schemes to prevent young people being let down by the National Apprenticeship Service
The apprenticeship levy is now two years old – and according to the Federation of National Builders, the number of construction apprentices has actually FALLEN by twenty per cent.
“Apprentices are increasingly finding themselves out of work owing to large outsourcing firms dominating the system,” Ian Anfield told The Yorkshire Post. “Young people are being let down because local training schemes have been scrapped in favour of a ‘one size fits all’ nationwide scheme which favours a London-based approach. The whole thing is broken.”
Hudson Contract has plenty of evidence showing how once-established local firms have been shut out of routine local authority work due to the growth of outsourcing.
“These firms were the traditional providers of apprenticeships, helping young people become plasterers, joiners, scaffolders and bricklayers,” Ian Anfield says. “But this is no longer happening. The big outsourcing groups are able to attract millions of pounds in grants from the Construction Industry Training Board – and often use their apprenticeships to enhance their bids for publicly funded work. But once the grants have been claimed and the contracts completed, apprentices frequently find themselves out of work and lacking in sufficient skills as tradespeople.
“It’s no wonder the number of people starting training programmes has fallen so heavily,” Ian Anfield continues. “If you knew someone’s son or daughter who has been dumped after two years, without a job or a trade, why would you send your own child into that industry?”
“We urgently need a revival of local training opportunities that can be created through better procurement by local authorities in favour of local suppliers. If young people can see there is plenty of work for local people in their local area, they will sign up for apprenticeships with local firms. The emphasis needs to be on local training to meet local needs. It really is that simple – or at least it could be.”