FMB welcomes apprenticeship focus

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The FMB believes new apprenticeship targets will benefit businesses up and down the country

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has welcomed the announcement that the government is to bolster its targets for the creation of new apprenticeship positions, as well as protecting the term from misuse in the future.

With thousands of apprenticeships created within the UK construction and housebuilding industries every year, chief executive of the FMB Brian Berry highlighted his pleasure at the news that the forthcoming Enterprise Bill will include specific provisions to help in the creation of more apprentice places up and down the country.

Small businesses operating in the UK building sector in particular are crying out for more young, skilled staff and therefore a push to bolster apprenticeship numbers could have far-reaching positive benefits from the industry, and the nation, as a whole.

Mr Berry commented: "The government's latest apprenticeship reforms are a positive step - in particular, giving legal protection to the term 'apprenticeship' should help tackle its blatant misuse by some organisations in some sectors.

"High-quality apprenticeships should be viewed by society just as favourably as university degrees and protecting the term from misuse will help ensure this is the case."

He added that the coming years could now become known as the "age of the apprentice", but only if the government ensures its ambitious targets for the delivery of more apprenticeship positions are met.

Companies of all sizes can benefit from investing in young people and the creation of additional apprenticeship programmes can be a great way to achieve this.

By encouraging a greater number of apprentice positions in the years ahead, businesses can benefit from increased employee loyalty, staff members specifically trained to meet their needs and a younger, more flexible workforce on which to draw.

"The government's target of three million additional apprenticeships over the coming five years is suitably ambitious, but reforms are required to ensure that these are actually delivered," Mr Berry concluded.