Business secretary says such schemes vital to develop construction skills

Vince Cable and Steve Bowcott

Vince Cable and Steve Bowcott

Business secretary Vince Cable joined Kier yesterday as the firm launched a new apprenticeship scheme in north London.

The Kier Construction Team Leader Apprenticeship (CTLA) is a new qualification developed in conjunction with the UK Contractors Group and CITB-Construction skills to train the next generation of site supervisors and foremen.

It is expected to train more than 100 young people and includes a level NVQ and a focus on modern methods of construction.

The CTLA was launched at Kier’s Queensland Road development near Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Vince Cable said: “In the past this country has not valued vocational education leading to skills shortages in industries that are vital to our economy like construction. We are putting this right by making apprenticeships a gold standard option for ambitious young people and last year we helped 457,000 people start apprenticeships.

“I am really pleased that Kier Construction is backing our apprenticeship scheme and introducing a new qualification which will help the industry become even more competitive. The construction industry has one of the best records for training and our recent learner survey showed that construction apprentices have higher satisfaction rates than any other sector.”

Steve Bowcott, executive director at Kier, said: “A lack of training and development of young people during the last recession led to serious shortages in both the professional and the skilled workforce. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“The Construction Team Leader Apprenticeship offers placements on Kier contracts throughout the UK, equipping these apprentices with the diverse range of skills required to deliver the first line supervisor needs in the early years of their construction careers.”