The Federation of Master Builders is to set up a “network of champions” from the construction industry to promote apprenticeships.

Geoff Lister, the FMB’s president, wants a group of industry champions to act as ambassadors for construction.

Under the plans, the construction champions would speak at recruitment events and act as consultants for employers considering apprenticeships.

Lister said Laing O’Rourke and Wates had signed up to become champions but called for specialists, smaller companies, and housebuilders to nominate their own.

The news came as ConstructionSkills announced that more than 1,000 construction companies had signed up to the government’s skills pledge scheme.

David Lammy, the minister for skills, said: “It’s great that construction is leading the way with the Skills Pledge.

“Creating a workforce that is able to meet the challenge of projects such as the Olympics, Crossrail and the Thames Gateway is essential to the future prosperity of the country.”