The CITB is to set up a new commission to develop a long-term apprenticeship strategy for the construction industry

The industry skills body said the commission would make recommendations on ways the industry can significantly increase its number of apprentices, while maintaining the Gold Standard of training valued by the firms employing them.

The announcement follows a commitment in the government’s Budget this week of an additional £170m for small businesses to support over 100,000 new apprenticeship places in the next two years.  

It also follows a report last month by a cross-party group of MPs that slammed the construction industry for its “pathtically dismal’ number of apprentices, after the number of completed apprenticeships last year fell to 7,280, just half the figure for 2008/09.

James Wates, chairman of CITB said: “We face a perfect storm. Construction is set to lose 400,000 workers to retirement in the next five years and, over the same period; we are set to create 182,000 jobs.

“With the economy picking up, we have a superb opportunity to appeal to a new generation of construction workers and to train them for a rewarding career in construction”.

“During the course of the recession, the needs of employers have changed, and so to the industry’s. To compete globally, we need to ensure that our apprentices are skilled and trained to their full potential.”

The CITB said the Apprenticeship Commission would develop an Apprenticeship Strategy by the end of the year, with figures currently being approached to lead the development of the strategy.