What does the sacking of Robert Halfon mean for construction apprenticeships?

  26 APRIL, 2018      INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
What does the sacking of Robert Halfon mean for construction apprenticeships?

General elections always bring periods of uncertainty for business, and following the shock result of a hung parliament, getting back to stability is rightly where Prime Minister Theresa May is focusing her energy right now.
 
Her recent reshuffle was a sign of that, with most ministers being reappointed to their pre-election roles – with a few notable examples. 
 
Like many construction companies, we at Novus watched the ins-and-outs with interest, and one change struck us as particularly significant: as of 11th June 2017, the government has removed Robert Halfon as Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, with no replacement yet in sight.
 
Mr Halfon’s record as apprenticeship minister has been broadly successful: he has kept apprenticeships at the forefront of the agenda: he delivered a record 900,000 apprenticeships and passed the Technical and Further Education Act, and for that he must be applauded. 
 
However, the need for construction apprenticeships has arguably never been greater. 
 
A recent report by the Construction Industry Training Board estimates that the projected annual recruitment requirement across the construction industry is 35,710 between 2017 and 2021.  In wood trades and interior fit out, 3,850 new recruits will be required each year, with 2,250 new employees needed in the electrical trades and insulation. 
 
At Novus, we see the training of apprentices as one of the most effective ways of filling these significant gaps and maintaining our excellent standards of work. 
 
We put a great deal of effort into recruiting, training and retaining apprentices within the business: we received over 1,000 applications for our apprenticeship scheme this year.  Apprentices here at Novus receive tailored mentoring and training throughout their three-year apprenticeship, resulting in a 91 per cent retention rate. All of this puts us in a strong position to face the challenges that may lie ahead. 
 
And with no formal government lead on construction apprenticeships, those of us who work in the industry must step up to the mark and continue to champion the development of people who wish to begin a career in our sector.
 
It is our responsibility to create a clear career path for talented people joining from outside the industry, whatever their age, background or previous experience.   CITB’s report shows that the UK needs almost 100 new people to join the construction sector every day.
 
Apprenticeships can help to fill this gap, but with no government minister to push this change though, construction companies must make a formal commitment to keep the apprenticeship and momentum going.
 
It’s up to companies like Novus to continue to encourage people to join the industry and support them throughout their career development.

SEARCH
RECENT POSTS
Sharing ideas and successes about Learning and Development

SHARING IDEAS AND SUCCESSES ABOUT LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Paul Nixon, our Learning and Development Advisor has been bringing likeminded people together to share their ideas, successes and pains. Here Paul tells us more about the Learning & Development gatherings…     Why do you hold a L&D gathering and who attends? I have been attending a gathering of Learning and Development professionals for the past 12 months.  The group meets every month in Manchester which poses two challenges for me.  Firstly, there is the commute to Manchester which eats up time in my day and, secondly, meeting every month was too much of a commitment.  I’m also a born and bred Stoke lad who wants to see innovation and a sense of community being developed in my city.  There is a quite a varied group of people that attend, all contributing unique and valuable experiences.  We have individuals from ICO, Leek United Building Society, Vodafone and Water Plus along with one or two independent consultants.   What have the group been discussing? When I set up the group, I was very clear about its purpose: sharing the successes we’ve recently had, the challenges we’ve faced and discussing any new trends, ideas or opportunities that may lie ahead.  This means everyone has a story to tell and experience to share.  It’s a relaxed, informal setting where people can speak openly, build relationships and find support.  There are only two major rules: no sales pitches and no touting for business!   What are the benefits to bringing likeminded people together? As the only person in Learning and Development at Novus, the group has provided me with a great opportunity to meet likeminded people who understand my successes and challenges.  Equally, hearing the experiences that other people have had is encouraging and motivating.  Learning about how other people have tackled similar problems helps me to be more creative and innovate in my own workplace.   When do you meet?  We meet every other month, normally on the first Friday of the month, although this is flexible.  We meet in the city centre at The Quarter café, who have kindly allowed us to use a private space for free.  If anyone is interested in attending, please get in touch with Paul via email paul.nixon@novussolutions.co.uk