My company has taken on an apprentice in order to put something back into the industry and has done all the right things – enrolled him at college, contacted the Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council about an apprenticeship and contacted

CITB-ConstructionSkills to find out about financial help – that’s what it’s there for and what we pay a considerable levy for each year.

We enrolled him at his nearest convenient college – he was up against seven others for his place, on an NVQ/C&G course – but guess what? The college isn’t a CITB-approved one so we can claim nothing! The nearest college is more than 10 miles away and there is no convenient public transport. This is our third apprentice in the past 12 years for whom we have received no grants. Is the CITB just some bureaucratic department’s wage roll we are funding to keep down unemployment? Would it know the difference between being punched, bored or countersunk? This training grant system clearly isn’t working.

No wonder the industry is in the state it is and we have to rely on imports – there is no incentive to train our own. Put that nice chap John Smith in charge, please.

Mike Smith, Corniche Builders