September 2011 issue

September, as well as being the time when summer looks to be coming to an end and we’re bunkering down for the winter, is also the start of the academic year. Whilst thousands of keen students are about to start architecture and other construction-related courses, news headlines about the lack of graduate places must somewhat dampen their spirits.

Message boards are full of discussions on students lamenting the lack of job opportunities, even for free internships and work experience, and employers bemoan the fact that they have already had to make staff cuts, and with covering the workload of missing colleagues there is simply no time to look after trainees who require supervision.

It’s the same story with apprentices – lack of funds and working short-handed means employers cannot spare the time to take on an apprentice, even though they may be fully aware that replacing skills for the future is of the utmost importance – and even if college courses can be found for the academic element of much skill training, the practical element cannot be arranged.

Our Legal & Business page in this issue looks at a new scheme allowing apprentices to be trialled on a ‘try before you buy’ basis, and news from the FMB states that “the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force (CCATF), which aims to increase the number of construction apprenticeships available to help avoid future skills shortages, is warning that firms of all sizes cannot afford to simply ignore the need to train people who are enthusiastic about a career in construction, despite the difficult economic situation, and are urging more employers to take on apprentices as the new college term approaches.”

Let us know if this has affected you – are you taking part in, or benefitting from, any of these schemes?

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