ConstructionSkills has come under pressure to slash funding for apprentices, it has emerged

The training body revealed in October that it faced a £10m deficit in 2009, forcing cuts to education and training schemes.

Board members now say it faces mounting financial pressure to slash apprenticeship grants, as the government has not stepped in with extra cash.

Geoff Lister, ConstructionSkills board member, said: “It is difficult to overstate how negative a signal the industry would be sending to employers.”

Chris Jones, chair of the ConstructionSkills grants scheme working party, said: “We are consulting with the industry on a fundamental review of the grants scheme and decisions will be released in the spring.”