New standards for apprentices

Picture: PA
Picture: PA

The Government has granted permission to members of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) to develop two new apprenticeship standards in bricklaying and plastering as part of the Trailblazer programme.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “We’re determined that the new construction apprenticeship standards reflect the needs of both large and small employers which is why we’re leading the way in developing two new standards for bricklaying and plastering.

“These standards will be driven by a group of SME employers and will require the apprentice to learn general skills as well as their specialist trade.

“We’ve likened our approach to developing these trailblazers to an American university degree where you have a core subject and a “major” in a particular discipline – in our case, apprentices will become “Master Builders” with a major in either bricklaying or plastering.

“That way, by the time they complete their apprenticeship, they’ll have a much more well-rounded set of skills plus their chosen specialist trade which they can deploy when working for an employer of any size.”

Berry concluded: “We’re committed to working with the Government on improving the quality and quantity of apprenticeships as both elements are key if we are to address the construction skills time bomb.

“The Government’s target to achieve three million new apprenticeships over the lifetime of this Parliament is an ambitious one but while striving to get there, we must never compromise on quality.

“That’s why it’s great that the trailblazer programme is employer-led – our members are really enthused by the idea that they will have a hand in developing two new apprenticeship standards which will be used by the whole of the construction industry.

“It’s a big responsibility but one they are relishing.”

Nick Boles MP, Skills Minister, said: “Businesses must have their say in training tomorrow’s workforce.

“Giving organisations like the Federation of Master Builders, and their group of employers, the power to design apprenticeships means apprentices graduate with the skills they need for the job they want and businesses get the talent they need to grow.

“Young people on these programmes will have the opportunity to learn sought-after skills and enjoy a great start to a working life.”