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Plug skills gap with apprentices

The recession isn’t going to last forever, and it’s vital to be prepared for an eventual increase in work.

National Specialist Contractors’ Council chief executive Suzannah Nichol says that SMEs’ small workforces means taking on apprentices is vital for their survival.

“Small businesses thrive on individuals, as there are usually one or two people who run that company. Someone who’s wedded to their firm though an apprenticeship
is the future of that company,” she says. “The companies best placed to pick up the work in future and deliver to the quality required will be the ones who invest in apprentices now.”

She points out there are further long-term benefits from hiring apprentices. “A lot of company directors around now started as apprentices and because of a drop in the number of them, in 10 to 15 years’ time there is going to be a gap as to who can fill that role.”

She also says that grants from CITB-ConstructionSkills are also available for firms that take on trainees, worth up to £9,000.

CITB-ConstructionSkills: www.cskills.org

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