Firm calls for more government action to support training and employment among the young

Sectors of the construction industry have now become so concerned with the plight of apprentices that one individual firm is independently calling on the government to take action.

Pimlico Plumbing has launched a national campaign to highlight the threat that apprenticeships are under, and has called for backing from industry leaders for a national petition.

Charlie Mullins, managing director of Pimlico, says: “The government needs to consider an innovative approach to apprenticeships – and fast. Unemployment among young people is at an alarming level.

“Apprenticeships play a vital role in the economy,” Mullins said

“They have talked about an £11m pot to be shared among 16 firms in a bid to create nearly 3,000 new apprenticeships, but they should be looking at practical and long-term support for businesses across the board.”

Latest unemployment figures show one in six of those aged 18-24 out of work, with the overall unemployment rate running at 7.1%.

“Apprenticeships play a vital role in the economy and when the recession finally recedes it will be critical that we have trained and experienced people within our core building trades,” Mullins said.

He has written to John Denham, secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills, about his proposals.

Pimlico has pledged to take on 20 apprentices by the end of the year, if the government introduces the scheme.

“If they don't take radical action soon, it could be the death of future apprenticeships,” added Mullins.