SIR MICHAEL Latham will take over as new chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board in April for a five-year term.
He will replace Hugh Try who retires at the end of March.
Sir Michael said one of the challenges would be to attract more talented young people into the industry.
His appointment was announced on Tuesday by adult skills minister John Healey.
He said: 'Sir Michael has already made a major contribution to the construction industry and has great knowledge of the skills and training issues facing it.'
Sir Michael said: 'The challenge for construction to attract more keen and talented young people into it, and to provide them with the skills that they need, remains acute.
'The role of the CITB is crucial, and the leadership which it has given in conjunction with the government over the years has greatly helped the industry to move towards the important targets in the Egan report.'
The two-days-a-week post carries a salary of £20,000.
Sir Michael will remain chairman of Willmott Dixon.