Recent statistics showing a sharp fall in apprenticeships (, 29 March) surprised me because they are not reflected by the industry’s experience.

Last year about 50,000 young people applied to ConstructionSkills Apprenticeships, which equalled the number from the previous year.

There is a massive demand for skilled workers. Ensuring that we have enough labour to support the large number of developments in the pipeline will be challenging. While we urge the government to allocate adequate financial resources to support apprentices, the real challenge is to ensure employers’ commitment. Hundreds of entrants are unable to find onsite experience.

ConstructionSkills Apprenticeships works with employers and apprentices, providing support and advice and £8,000 grants for employers. We need modern, flexible solutions in addition to traditional apprenticeships, for example, programme-led apprenticeship, which enable people on full-time college courses to get qualifications.

Max Hamps, director, ConstructionSkills Apprenticeships