Report by FMB shows barriers to taking on first apprentices include complexity of bureaucracy and cost


A third of small construction firms are being put off taking on apprentices because of the bureaucracy involved, according to a new report by the Federation of Master Builders.

Called Defusing the skills time bomb, the report shows that barriers that prevent employers taking on their first apprentices include the complexity and bureaucracy of the process, as well as the cost.

Uncertainty over future workloads, concerns over retaining apprentices once trained and the quality of candidates applying are also barriers, the report found.

It also puts forward several recommendations to the government to solve the skills shortage including improved funding for older apprentices and a new drive to encourage apprentices through public procurement.

The report also calls on government to channel its planned apprenticeship levy through the CITB, and develop a guarantee which would see apprentices commit to their course or otherwise have to pay for some or all of the costs of their training.

Chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, Brian Berry, said: “There is strong evidence to show [that if SMEs] were more aware of the support available, a great number would train apprentices.”