- Research shows a deepening construction skills crisis, with 400,000 people set to retire in the next 10 years and just 25% of the people completing a construction qualification having a job in construction 6 months later.
- Berkeley's Chief Executive, Rob Perrins, calls for 'the right courses in the right places' and urges colleges and employers to work better together.
- Joseph Valente, winner of the BBC's The Apprentice in 2015 and now Managing Director of ImpraGas, hails young electrician as 'best of the best' at the awards.
- Berkeley pledges to have 1,500 people in apprenticeships and training by 2018.
London, (Tuesday, 10 October 2017) - one of Britain's leading homebuilders has called for a radical overhaul of the way colleges and employers work together as it announces the winners of the Berkeley Group Apprentice Awards.
Recent data shows that six months after completing a construction qualification, just 25% of trainees across England have a job in the sector (CITB, 2017). With 21,000 construction qualifications completed in London alone last year, this suggests fundamental flaws in the current system of further education, just as a skills crisis threatens to undermine housing supply.
Rob Perrins, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Group, said:
"We need the right courses, in the right places, delivered by talented teachers given real support by employers who offer genuinely useful work experience. There is a huge amount of talent out there but the system isn't working."
Research from KPMG and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry also suggests that around 400,000 people are set to retire from construction in the next 10 years. To combat this level of churn from both ends of the career ladder, the Berkeley Group is urging more collaboration between schools, colleges, training providers and the industry to design and deliver relevant qualifications that will sustain and grow the industry.
This call to action comes at a ceremony to mark the Berkeley Group Apprentice Awards, hosted at the historic Pennington Street warehouse in London Dock, Wapping. The awards recognise individuals and businesses who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to apprenticeships.
Presenting the top award to a young electrician, Joseph Valente, winner of BBC's The Apprentice in 2015 and now Managing Director of ImpraGas, said:
"My apprenticeship was the beginning of an exciting journey that contributed to success in life and business. It's vital that we raise the profile of apprenticeships as a worthwhile and rewarding career choice for young people to consider seriously."
The winners were chosen from 120 submissions for nine different awards by a panel of judges including Carol Lynch, CEO of the Construction Youth Trust, Cllr Carole Williams of Hackney Council, Cllr Sizwe James of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and Michael Heanue of the Greater London Authority.