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Construction Training Inadequate Says ALI


The construction industry is "squandering its future" by offering inadequate training, a training watchdog has warned.

Research by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) states that at a time when the industry is already critically short of skilled craftspeople, just a third of trainees in the construction industry complete their apprenticeships.

The industry employs around two-million people - equivalent to one in 14 of the workforce – but estimates it needs another 300,000 to keep up with demand for housing and commercial building over the next 10 years.

But ALI adds that the standard of training offered to new entrants to the sector can only make the situation worse – putting some major capital projects at risk.

The key challenges identified were:
* 40% of those that do provide training are judged by the ALI to be inadequate
* Only 34% of trainees complete their apprenticeship
* The lack of clarity about who is responsible for different elements of the training (known as the ‘apprenticeship framework’) deters and confuses the employer. It also erodes the confidence of the trainee
* Employers tend not to consider training to be part of their role, only 25% of companies do any apprenticeship training at all

Nicky Perry, Director of Inspection at the ALI, said: “During the 1970s 100,000 people were being trained every year across the range of construction skills that are needed. However, last year fewer than 40,000 entered the industry – and the statistics show that only 34% of them will complete their training. The industry is squandering its own future by not facing up to the critical problems endemic in its training methods today."

Perry said that achievement of qualifications for those in construction services like gas and electrical fitting were much better at 60%, which he said was probably because they needed a licence to work.

However, not all the report findings are negative. Inspectors spoke to many young people who valued their apprenticeship opportunity and this is reflected in the increasing demands for apprenticeships from school leavers. Inspectors also found some good examples of practical training in college workshops and a small number of excellent training providers.


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