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Train up Brits

Skills minister David Lammy has told Construction News that a £135 million training package for the industry should be used to bring in more British workers into the industry.

The Government yesterday announced a three year agreement with ConstructionSkills to help bring in an estimated 88,000 workers into the industry every year.

Mr Lammy said: “Recently firms have drawn employees from overseas but this money is about training up British workers, local men and women.”

The move is being masterminded under the Government’s Train to Gain initiative which aims to help employers in England attract and train up new recruits.

Mr Lammy said the Government had been talking to ConstructionSkills since the end of last year and the scheme will see money invested to qualify 50,000 plant operatives and bring in more than 2,000 specialist apprenticeship starters.

He expects the money to bring in more female recruits as well as from the ethnic minorities.

Mr Lammy added: “We are putting the employers in the lead on this and this is taxpayers’ money to train up people in ways that are necessary to move the industry forward.”

The money will also be used to expand the network of national skills academies on major construction sites across England.

Over 1,000 firms – with over 60,000 employees – have signed up to the Government’s Skills Pledge, which is designed to ensure employers commit to improving employees basic skills.

The new money is also designed to triple the number of construction firms signing up to the pledge.