Apprenticeship Programs in the UK Construction Industry

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

From the construction industry’s point of view, the aim of vocational education and apprenticeship programmes is to develop the necessary workforce attitude, skills and knowledge needed to meet the requirements of the industry. This includes the development of high levels of industry-specific and specialist knowledge, trained practical skills, experienced work attitudes and behaviours, qualifications, health and safety, quality, and productivity awareness, and a business-oriented entrepreneurial attitude. However, in many cases, national or regional scopes for apprenticeship programmes do not fully meet these requirements. Given the changes in the construction sector, there is growing concern that some of the programmes do not provide the necessary and satisfying policy effect on national construction skills shortages, apprenticeship chamber requests, and industry expectations. For this reason, the UK government introduced the Modern Apprenticeship system in 1994 as a new vehicle for the training of apprentices which met the skill demands of the construction industry.

In recent years, there has been a continued need for recruitment in the UK construction sector. Despite the various initiatives to improve the profile of construction as a career choice, the sector has recorded the second highest number of skills shortages. The key position of the construction industry in terms of recruitment is the support for apprenticeship training which provides an entry route for new employees and long-term training and development of construction workers. Therefore, the latest UK construction industrial policy document is aimed at supporting “an industry with a growing, sustainable and diverse workforce, while improving the overall image of construction in attracting and retaining new talent”. This led to a continuous effort to modernise apprenticeships, including new guidelines, specific legislation and administrative framework, and new standards and competence in construction occupations. This paper aims to explore how selected UK construction companies are addressing these challenges within their organisation.

2. Benefits of Apprenticeship Programs

As well as the numerous benefits for the apprentices and companies, the wider industry and commerce are also known to benefit from having young talented people in the labor pool. These people are the industry’s ‘future workforce’ that will ensure skills are available to meet future economic and business needs. Apprentices are crucial in ensuring that the needs for future skill requirements are adequately addressed. In the main, there is consensus among key stakeholders that apprentices bring with them new knowledge, fresh perspectives, and innovative ideas, and are able to challenge traditional and prohibited industry norms. This is necessary to ensure the continued growth and competitiveness of the industries. It is then appreciated that apprentices present the potential for the future of innovation within the firm.

Apprentices are provided with real opportunities for career progression with employers known to evidence future salary enhancement and professional success. Apprentices quickly gain confidence in their abilities to successfully carry out their role and benefit from the job satisfaction that is apparent in almost all categories. Over time, this allows apprentices to contribute in a very purposeful way towards the completion of their role. In turn, companies benefit from the loyalty and commitment shown by their apprentices in providing excellent trade and technical skills. Along with their skillset, apprentices are known to bring with them innovative ideas, which are described as ‘injecting new ideas into your company’. Companies understand that apprentices introduce opportunities for the transfer of knowledge through development pathways, shared learning experiences, and training of apprentices by colleagues.

3. How to Apply for Apprenticeship Programs

Apprentices in the UK Construction Industry are often considered better qualified and more employable than their non-apprentice counterparts. By following a structured block-release training program, they derive a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to successfully complete their training. These programs further strengthen the fact that it is possible to continue to learn and develop the necessary skills required for lifelong learning in the chosen profession. These programs provide a feasible, cost-effective, and sustainable way to achieve the highest level of vocational skills in the industry, thereby enhancing the overall quality of workmanship and service provided to the company and the industry. In the long run, higher standards must eventually lead to improvements in quality, performance, and support—good solutions to achieve competitiveness, and this is a favorable opportunity for local businesses and workers. At the same time, apprenticeship programs can also help increase ethnic and cultural diversity in the industry. In addition, by enabling local workers to compete in the marketplace in combination, they also act as a group that calls on large companies to further their support for local development initiatives, support community networks, and environmental protection goals. In the UK formal education system, where the proportion of soft subjects is declining, career opportunities for career and tuition reimbursement were becoming increasingly difficult. At the same time, the high costs involved in supporting those working in direct teaching and the additional costs of incorporating non-viable subjects into the school curriculum are also obstacles to the development of the education pathway. In this respect, apprenticeship programs provide alternative paths within a training framework, while on the other hand, consumers through the form of a subsidy or part-time wages and education or tuition fees and buy and promote the use of the side access gate as an effective marketing tool. These programs provide a direct path for students while learning from the act of the individual to a level commensurate with their abilities.

Quite a few UK construction companies offer apprenticeship opportunities for school children who have a GCSE certificate in relevant qualifications such as mathematics, language, and sciences and who are mature enough at the age of 16. In recent years, the trend is to recruit those between the ages of 18-21, as financial benefits are much greater and employment prospects are better.

4. Success Stories of Apprentices in the Construction Industry

Case study 2. Jason is 16 and loves being outdoors, so when the offer of a horticulture apprenticeship came up from South Somerset District Council, it was the perfect opportunity for him. Jason said, “I really enjoy horticulture, I always have. When I was in year 8 and year 9, I volunteered for one morning a week and in school holidays with the school gardeners. I made different vegetable plots and planted vegetables every week. Last spring, with the support from the school gardeners, I won 1st, 2nd, and 4th place at the Mid-Somerset Show for my vegetable displays. I feel really lucky to have secured this apprenticeship and plan to study further after it so I can become a landscape gardener. I have been at the nursery a year now and am gaining experience in all areas. My best end point assessment so far is planting a 180-meter native sapling hedge.

Case study 1. My name is Rosie and I am an 18-year-old from Somerset. I am really interested in carpentry, so when I saw the advertisement for 14 apprentices in Shepton Mallet, I knew I had to go for it. I was put forward for a job in carpentry and was delighted when I found out that I had been selected, especially as I was the only girl. The first day on site, I was nervous as I was the only woman. However, it was not long before I had settled in and was understanding more and more on how to complete tasks I had never even attempted before. I am achieving all my targets and am really focused on becoming a qualified carpenter.

5. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Trades

Manpower forecasts for the sector until 2014 have projected a trend-centered demand for 30,000 new recruits per annum. Following the government’s announcement of compulsory stay-in learning until apprenticeship age and extension of the stay-in learning age to 17 in 2013 and to 18 in 2015, BIS is investing in the promotion of apprenticeships encompassing the traditional three-year construction apprentice program. Main contractors are also involved in various gradations as the funding source for on-site work. It is universally accepted that the scheme, an outcome of the government’s contractual arrangement practice, provides rewarding opportunities for the awarded, who either get absorbed into major industry lines or utilize the sponsorship to enhance their qualification. In the context of site management, some main contractors have abandoned the long-established system in favor of the Graduate Development Program over the last ten years for Graduate Trainees. Impressive promotional posters and recruitment seminars of the industry giants can be seen in academic institutions, colleges, and universities year after year until early Autumn.

Many organizations, such as CITB and Summit Skills, include apprenticeship programs among a wide range of vocational and educational initiatives. The construction industry was the first to pilot Foundation Degrees at a few selected colleges. Despite gloomy forecasts of a major industry decline not long ago, the scale of the present industry and the shortage of skilled personnel, red tape, and time and money involved in its perpetuation appear to have made it a priority even today. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s target of 28% of young people starting on the higher education pathway by 2006 has been complemented with the pledge to expand the number of apprenticeships in response to the skills shortage. The construction industry, in particular, requires 85,000 new recruits each year.

6. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Management

The UK Government has recognized the scope in apprenticeship programs to support the economy and upskill the workforce. They have invested in the construction industry with apprenticeship programs traditionally focused on training trade roles: Electrical Installation, Plastering, Bricklaying, Painting and Decorating, etc. However, over the past five years, government-sponsored apprenticeship programs have expanded into higher technical roles to support a diverse, inclusive, and skilled workforce.

It is envisaged that most BSc roles in Construction Management starting in 2021 will be apprentices. Consequently, the construction industry needs to be aware of the practical implications of using the apprenticeship route to attract future employees in the role of construction management. Higher education needs to remain competitive, deliver an innovative curriculum, and incorporate innovative teaching methods to engage apprentices in the BA classroom.

This paper will present an analysis of the challenges and barriers of setting up a construction management apprenticeship program at a Russell Group University. Data was analyzed from updates to the Trailblazer standard, government standard documentation, meeting minutes, and documents were compared to the requirements of the Construction Management BSc program. The results showed several challenges and barriers in establishing apprenticeship programs in construction management. Future research will investigate industry attitudes and perceptions of using apprenticeships as entry routes for construction management roles.

Apprenticeship programs in the UK construction industry have mostly targeted trade roles. However, over the past five years, the apprenticeship programs have expanded across a broad range of professions within the construction industry. The changes in higher education funding were the main catalyst for the change. The construction industry was faced with complex challenges, and subsequently, this has led to a need for diverse entry routes for new employees.

7. Apprenticeship Programs in Building Services Engineering

The UK’s Level 2 Building Services Engineering Apprenticeship has recently undergone its second major reform in six years, a significant and complex development supported by new online methods for creating and approving training materials. This research examined to what extent the content of new Level 2 textbooks is reflective of these outcomes. By examining closely the content of important and authoritative texts, the findings from the research can be extrapolated to explain the nature and significance of these outcomes more generally. Empirical data on this is important. Government websites explaining outcomes are not designed to be comprehensive. Also, importantly, many different qualifications associated with any particular workforce development system may be associated with interpreting these through hard copy or digital forms of the few most important authoritative or definitive materials for academics, curriculum managers, trainees, authors, regulators, employers, and trainers.

Building services engineering is a particularly interesting vocational area for examining apprenticeships because it is the occupation of perhaps the greatest current interest for apprenticeships of an applied nature. Technicians in this occupation carry out many practical and technical jobs vital to the effective and efficient operation of buildings. They design, develop, install, test equipment, instruments, and control systems, and maintain these in facilities across many sectors. It is an essential occupation in the construction industry, one of the most popular sectors of apprenticeships in many countries. A second rationale for choosing textbooks as units of analysis to explain the construction of knowledge for only the most important qualifications associated with any particular workforce development system in building services.

8. Apprenticeship Programs in Civil Engineering

In recent years, non-graduate entry in civil engineering professions has shifted to follow the BEng route. The BSc level 6 (pure undergraduate) civil engineering degree provides the core first-degree route at level 6 for non-graduate entrants. In the post-apprenticeship arena, the HND/Level Results are the normal entry qualifications. Apprentices in this program train in the workplace, with attendance at the university 1 day per week, on a 7-year route to become a Civil Engineer. This qualification is fully recognized by the CE Council, UK Spec, and EURING and allows advanced entry of 1 year to the Chartered Level, providing successful apprentices with a marked advantage over graduates. Other prospective students: Graduates also could enter this degree non-standard entry qualifications are prior experiential learning, change of the registration from MEng to a BEng, transfer to another field of engineering during their studies, and the possibility of discontinuous assessment for another subject. An Industrial Advisory Board involves students, employers, professional institutions, academics, equipment suppliers, and Senior Engineers. This is to ensure the program meets current industry expectations and needs.

The modern UK construction industry employs around 2.3 million persons in a variety of roles. However, the renewed demand for construction professionals, after the deep reduction following the 2007 recession, combined with the aging workforce and the potential loss of low skilled workers from the EU, is forcing the industry to address anew the challenges and the opportunities related to training. As already described, the size of the industry makes it particularly difficult to address the need for professionals in the surprisingly diverse set of construction jobs. This explains why the construction has seen the adoption of apprentice training since the Middle Ages. The system has been successful indeed in generating high-class professionals capable of working, planning, designing, and developing complex construction works.

9. Apprenticeship Programs in Quantity Surveying

If you are responsible for the Large Project apprenticeship, you will need excellent interpersonal skills, be approachable and diplomatic, and you will be expected to communicate clear messages. You will need to provide the necessary input that will ensure the project meets its budget. You should be degree-educated to at least the 2i or a Master’s degree in a relevant construction or civil engineering field (or soon to graduate). You should also gain relevant work experience, this can include work placements or part-time work throughout your studies and evidence how you meet the required competencies. You should also have an understanding of the construction industry and their roles, together with good problem-solving skills, high numeracy, and IT skills. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office is required.

Apprenticeship programs with the Quantity Surveying pathway are based on studying and working within a typical Quantity Surveying environment. You will be appointed as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor and be expected to attend university once per week during term times. Toward the end of the apprenticeship, you will have overall responsibility and the skills required to manage all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects. You will be involved in helping to ensure that the project is completed within its projected budget, taking into consideration efficiency, productivity, and comfort of various activities. The Cost Consultant/Commercial Manager should support the objectives regarding sustainability.

10. Apprenticeship Programs in Architectural Technology

The terms architectural technologist (AT), architectural technician, or a latter-day parcel of land ‘surveyor/manager’ often referred to as a ‘landsman’ or assistant within the building sector are, in some informal cases, interchangeable. Their roles typically include assisting or leading any of the following activities: design management, drawing and documentation reviews, revisions, stakeholder presentations, bids and tenders, cost evaluations, project life cycle management, and project scheduling. They often become a principal designer or manager during critical phases of project definition and development, i.e., before the project is completed and submitted for tender. Early learning frequently occurred while doing, and their expertise was gained either on the side or following formal credential programs.

ICT in construction has given pace through which architectural technologies have evolved and led to emerging models for project development. Today, the construction process is characterized by demands for virtual project models, BIM tools, and 3D printing, which are transitioning from emerging technologies to essential ingredients for solving the everyday challenges faced by practitioners of architectural technology. But as the potential and application of technology continue to expand and present possible divergence from the realities of site activities and construction management, it is integral to solve the question of the relationship between architectural technology roles, skill development, training, and enhanced collaboration. This part of the chapter focuses on apprenticeship programs in architectural technology.

11. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Design

The design and build approach involves very early integration of the design and construction process; all project participants come together as an integrated team to deliver the project. This method and its dovetailing with both the Building Design Partnership undergraduate program and the seven-year course, made the potential for design instruction more effective. A further putative advantage of the programme was that the way in which the construction of the heavy timber Bethnal Green Travertine Surge Building is dramatically introduced ambiguities and instabilities thus enhancing raw questioning and the related undergraduate program offered. A major pedagogical goal of offering them an early experiential underpinning that was epochally juxtaposed to their inculcation into the dogmatic real world of the design decision-making. The resulting product coupled with the twice-weekly site visits this engenders, resulted in a rich design experience.

Most of the workforce in the construction design sector work in either architectural practices or engineering consultancies. Although such environments provide a good learning ground for trainees wishing to undertake apprenticeship training in some trade functions, opportunities for them to learn about other, directly related, occupations outside their immediate specialisms are limited. In addition, the obvious need to maintain a professional and disciplined environment may inhibit the type of broad-based and practical learning that on-site experience could provide. However, taking a purely pragmatic view, extensive site experience of this kind would inevitably slow down the work of the consultants, making their productivity in a commercial market adversely affected. However, with appropriate secondments or placement schemes, and by making use of short-term periods when workload may be demanding, the necessary blend of academic study and practical, work-based learning could be maintained.

12. Apprenticeship Programs in Health and Safety

Construction does not strictly refer to health-related fitness; instead, it refers to who is most at risk of sensitivity to heat and ultraviolet radiation (UVR). 18.3% of construction workers report symptoms of sensitivity to heat and/or UVR in the previous 12 months. The third party analyzed the number of work-related stress causing the most relevant industries in the UK during 2018/2019. The number of accidents caused by manual labor and handling remained constant in the workplace. The National Survey of Cooperation and Workforce and the UK Working Conditions Survey both confirm this. The collaboration also takes into account family commitments (formal or informal), the pressure of the company to provide staff or quality, job insecurity, and unstable or temporary contracts. Workers in the construction industry are more likely to suffer from stress, depression, or anxiety than those in other sectors. In the UK, there have been between twelve and sixteen deaths each year in the construction industry over the last two decades. The majority of accidents in the sector involved falling from a height of fifteen meters or less.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets minimum standards to ensure the health and safety of people working in construction. Employers must ensure that the minimum standards are met (i.e., the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations), although through apprenticeship programs, employees are usually made aware of the necessary health and safety requirements, such as safe working practices, on-site safety, and first aid. The manual of EU-OSHA ‘Asbestos tools and practices in the refurbishment sector’ provides information about exposure risks and work practices of apprentices. The shared economy is evolving rapidly. BIM is important for health and safety because the health and safety risk from design through construction to operation can be minimized. BIM is relatively new in the industry, so there is still a training need. When approved by the Construction Skills Certification requirement of the CSCS quiz itself, construction workers verify that they have the correct skills and knowledge of the site to understand all risks.

13. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Plant Operation

As shown in Table 1, the key data recording sector for 1989 (and, for some years, 1988) were published by the Data Plan (1989 and 1990). Although expenditure, GNP contributions, types of work and numbers of plants are recorded, a manpower requirement was not recorded. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) was the main measure of employment in the UK and unemployment used by the UK Government to calculate national unemployment rates and is the measure used in this paper. Data was collected in the form of interviews and was released quarterly. The Government Construction Civil Engineering Training Board/Construction ITB, commonly referred to as the CITB, was the Construction Industry (CI) training body for construction craft apprentices up to managerial level, covering the entire British Isles. It was the CITB’s job role to ensure that future skill requirements of industry employers were met by laying down appropriate national training programs.

With the current shortage in apprenticeships in the construction sector making headlines in recent years, the aim of this paper is to provide readers with, hopefully, a clearer understanding of the employment and unemployment situation faced by construction plant operators both during and post-training. The objective is that, armed with such a study, interested parties can more carefully consider numbers to be trained and numbers required by the industry, the benefits and drawbacks to employing those young people engaged in such training, and comparisons with other construction apprenticeship programs.

14. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Site Supervision

In construction, ‘capita’ is synonymous with ‘service’, a word that clearly reinforces the idea that the transit of construction workers into inexperienced traineeship completion into a qualified profession. Construction operatives commence their craft career at 16 years of age after they pass their mandatory trades and vocational qualifications. Between 18 and 23, construction operatives may choose to undertake additional short courses leading to a Level 1, 2, or 3 NVQ diploma in a particular craft. Construction team leaders or those already possessing a Level 2 or Level 3 NVQ diploma in construction crafts are also eligible to undertake trade skills apprenticeship. When a construction craftsman has achieved the employment status and vocational awards, he chooses to become an experienced supervisor in the management of occupational activity and receive a range of skills training, such as constructive performance, vision and goal attainment, collaboration and leadership, communication skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, taking control of task operations in construction management, and ensuring effective construction occupational safety and health.

The construction sector is heavily reliant on the contribution of migrant workers, who are crucial to productivity and the mobility of construction operatives. The use of migrant construction supervisors is also important across many sites, as there is substantial evidence to suggest that the UK should be regarded as a follower rather than a leader in terms of product innovation. Site managers must ensure that the relatively unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled migrant operative workforce are working effectively under their direct or indirect supervision. Ensuring that teams of unskilled and semi-skilled workers are effective is crucial to the success of the UK’s social infrastructure and housing strategy. Many of the teams then grow in size soon after mobilizing on-site, and many operatives will leave the site by the time that the roof covering is complete, thereby allowing a remainder, and in most cases, a shrinking of the core construction team. Often, this condition is not experienced to the same extent worldwide.

15. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Project Management

The industry sees the apprenticeship programs as an opportunity to educate and train undergraduates in a work-based environment. The undergraduates are known to adapt to the reality of the work, understand teamwork, and improve their performance during work experiences. However, there is a lack of awareness about the valuable on-job training provided by apprenticeships. The interviewed undergraduates regretted not having sufficient information to opt for an apprenticeship program when leaving school. In relation to job performance, personal development, and financial incentives, construction undergraduate apprentices performed significantly better than non-apprentices. However, the main barriers reported by undergraduates to undertake an apprenticeship program include reduced financial incentives and being socially undervalued. The results emerged have implications for the University and the industrial environment, particularly in designing apprenticeship programs that address the barriers posed by undergraduate students to undertake apprentice programs in an undergraduate environment.

This chapter reviews the results of background research aimed at investigating the perception and attitudes of students, graduates, the construction industry, construction professional bodies, and other stakeholders towards apprenticeships and work-based learning in general, in Construction Project Management in the UK. The research, which took place during 2007, was designed to be exploratory in nature, using both primary and secondary sources. The findings, using both qualitative and quantitative analysis, form the basis of a subsequent research project which aims to develop a work-based learning framework for Construction Project Manager Apprentices, together with other support mechanisms such as workshops, peer support networks, and electronic means of support. The primary research that was conducted through structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews identifies that undergraduates are supportive of the introduction of apprenticeship programs in the Construction Project Management field.

16. Apprenticeship Programs in Building Control and Inspection

There are three main paths into the profession: first, surveyors might be educated via a formal university route, but more commonly, students are offered the opportunity to take degree-equivalent apprenticeships. Learners taking these apprenticeships typically spend 20% of their time ‘off the job’ and the remaining time training in the workplace ‘on the job’. Unlike at university where students may expect to pay £9,250 in fees in each year of their studies, these apprenticeship learners (and their employer) who take the apprentice at level 6 Apprentice in Building Control Surveyor may expect to pay a total of £1,250 in fees.

In the UK, building control surveyors represent a marvellous career path that young school leavers might wish to take, either in local government or within a commercial organisation. As a profession, building control surveyors are responsible for working with developers and building firms to ensure that all new buildings are safe, tolerable, and healthy. As well as inspecting housing and supervising the work of building firms, the profession is involved with providing access for disabled people, energy management and conservation, waste and pollution, water supplies and sanitation, environment, drainage, and flood risk. Overseeing the work of building professionals, the building surveyor delivers a range of important public good services.

17. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Estimating

For about the last five years, I have been teaching design courses at Northeastern where I have an obligation to teach a cost engineering course. For the first few semesters, mine was an introductory cost estimating only course with no field trips or guest lecturers. The closest thing to a field trip consisted of a discussion of an exhibition hall at a hardware store real project and then with the students invited to estimate onsite. A web search of the contractor background explained a litigious nature. The purpose of the assignment was to create the understanding as to why it was important not to leave out specifying the overhead on profit of the general contracting in the estimates. In the final weeks in school, the owner succinctly made a point of introducing the profound need that there was for such employees. The students’ written summary of the purpose of the experience was thematic.

There are two primary trade publications in the United States for construction cost estimating, which are the Proceedings of the ASCE and Design and News. Over the last two years, the ASCE has published three papers relating to construction cost education. The first is related to a survey of about two dozen universities. They revealed that a number of universities provided one or more cost estimating courses, but none required estimating coursework previously. The curriculum at one school emphasized a three-course series where costs had to be provided for a real project, with the accuracy of the student’s estimate measuring 20% or less. At another school, students were required to develop an estimate on three iterative processes with the owner’s approval, and another school required estimates on a renovation of an existing building.

18. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Surveying

An impetus for improvements in further education for surveyors working in construction was addressed in the Government’s 1955 Report on Higher Technological Education. The concept of higher education has been fundamentally altered since the implementation of the Robbins Report on Higher Education in 1963. The Donovan Report revealed that, amongst professional trainees and technicians, collaboration between construction companies to provide day-release apprenticeships was cyclically low. In 1967, the Civil Engineering Industry Training Board was established as an institution with the objective to coordinate a radical improvement to the apprenticeship system. A committee from the Joint Board of Constructors, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Association of Consulting Engineers, and the surveyors of the existing Constructive Apprenticeships suggested that the industry conduct a quantity surveying course.

Introduction: Two of the largest chartered surveyors’ organizations, namely the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors, currently endorse apprenticeships. The Interprofessional Council in Scotland also offers apprenticeships at degree level. More dramatic reports in recent years conveyed an announcement that apprenticeships ready for approval by the members were piloted for adoptability by the rectors. Typically, students study full-time over a 4-5 year course. However, some students may choose part-time, which may take up to 12 years. Many companies tend to send part-time students to college on a day-release basis, and there are many part-time courses available in construction-related subjects. In recent years, about 2000 students have begun full-time undergraduate courses in Quantity Surveying and related construction and commercial management subject areas in what is currently considered to be a robust construction market.

19. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Materials Testing

The numbers prove the point. Approximately 40 craft apprentices and 630 other construction materials testing technicians and professionals enter training within the eighty existing programs in the USA each year. An estimated 1.3 million construction materials testing technicians begin working in the USA each year, so 630 apprentices represent a very small portion. As a comparison figure, in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century, when both direct employer hiring and the use of indentured apprentices coexisted, only 5 to 10% of young men apprenticing to any trade obtained legal evidence of their apprenticeship by depositing an indenture. The latter document was a long-term, written agreement, drafted by a legal draftsman, certified, also by someone licensed to practice, and retained by a public officer.

Students in this field are usually recruited by engineering firms, which pay both the costs of formal education and the individual’s wage during his training period. Certifications are developed and administered by professional, non-profit organizations, mainly engaged in promoting certification for use in contracting with governmental bodies. The arrangements thereby differ dramatically from those in construction trades apprenticeship programs in the USA. The consequences of the two main elements are complex, but the principal contrasts with the USA’s arrangements due largely to the way the essential elements are organized. Private firms select, educate, direct, validate, and remunerate construction materials testing professionals. The alternative, the USA’s highly decentralized, craft-union controlled and mutually funded system, educates selected and generally young prospective craft persons, but many differences arise.

20. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Planning

The industry has not thought it appropriate to offer Advanced GNVQs within employment or close to employment. It has been stated that FE colleges can give students a more complete effort if they are on a full-time course rather than just part-time attendance. The authors’ view is that the industry’s interest lies in short-term profits and these should not be at the expense of the industry having an appropriately skilled labor force to draw on now and in the future. The GNVQ Construction and Built Environment course does not offer access to comprehensive manual skills nor historically has it improved the troubled image the construction industry has with young people. Furthermore, this does not apply to all 13 percent disadvantage. Almost half of the GNVQ students are not underprivileged. Evidence to date is that a new positive image about construction amongst young people is developing and that employment in the industry offers not only a good career but a secure and very rewarding one. A favorable image has also been detected amongst the parents of the students given that they, justifiably, have been concerned regarding the career opportunities open to their daughters and sons.

In 2001, an NVQ Level 3 qualification was established for construction. This required new entrants, or inexperienced workers with no basic qualifications, to pass either the GNVQ Construction and the Built Environment (for those with no on-site experience), or the NVQ Level 2 in their chosen trade to gain entry to the NVQ Level 3. National Training Organizations (NTOs) were then established to generate the GNVQ, linked to the NVQ qualifications, and about a total of 62,000 construction GNVQ Level 1, 2, and 3 students enrolled in courses, around 60 percent of whom were in further education (FE) colleges. This would provide a pool of students who, after one-year full-time FE courses, from ages 16 to 18 years, will become future recruits to the industry.

21. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Contracts

The industry has traditionally been known to be one among those that provide good apprenticeship training and subsequently leading to the registration of training agreements at that time. Although they have registered well, they did not contribute as much to the training fund. They have managed to go through the depressions and business recessions and to abandon by many firms with craftsmen employees on the verge of retirement, which caused voluntary layoffs year after year. As a result, the Joint Industrial Executive Committee (JIEC), made up of employer and trade union members, got into a coma as it could no longer meet. The existing Construction Unions gave support to existing apprentices in terms of insisting that employers lived by established training customs and beliefs. The latter also even developed their own training process in terms of levy payment. Experience has shown that an industry demanding highly qualified labor of workers educated to Level 3 and above is only possible when the workforce is educated right from day one of their training.

The construction industry is among the major industries that still apprentice highly in the United Kingdom. There are different reasons for advanced apprenticeship in the construction industry, including input-factor and output characteristics. Among the key input-factor characteristics are that construction is capital intensive, makes use of a skilled and semi-skilled workforce, introduces the workforce both to formal and on-site training, as well as requiring teamwork from the side of the workforce. The output characteristics are largely due to adverse weather problems that, in turn, cause the projects to be delayed for a long time. These, in turn, increase the length of time the project would be in existence once completed. So, clients look for speedy completion and specifications of their projects, which impose demand for skilled and inventive labor while at the same time restricts employers’ demand for labor forces. ILO as early as on 30 June 1939 indicated that the construction firm obtains mainly its income from the input of labor and output of unskilled labor and hence contractors prefer to employ low-skilled workers at a low wage rate. The Commission of the European Communities as early as in 1985 stated that clients push firms to reduce their costs by pressing hard on them for speedy execution of projects and good quality. It has been argued that one way of improving productivity and innovation on site as well as off-site will be through the creation of an improved syllabus for both teachers and learners in addition to stipulating the duration of training, enhanced training quality, work placement requirements as well as rules for engagement between employers and training providers.

22. Apprenticeship Programs in Sustainable Construction

The construction sector has been identified by the UK government as ripe for its transition to sustainable economic growth and to fulfill its low carbon targets. The setting of ambitious legally binding carbon targets – an 80% reduction below 1990 levels by 2050 – and support for 4,000 new jobs in the industry were underpinned by the Low Carbon Transition Plan. Furthermore, there was an ambition to have 7 million new jobs in the low carbon and environmental industries by 2020 – attracting the equivalent of 3,000 new entrants to the sector yearly. To assist the transition towards sustainable growth, the responsibility of providing the skills and training to feed the policy, which promised to deliver a low carbon transition, was led by industry via CITB’s ‘Employers Ownership of Skills’ initiative.

Apprenticeship programs in the construction industry have experienced a decline since the 1970s, primarily due to a drop in applications during economic downturns. Employer apprehension of employing apprentices during economic uncertainty is also a contributing factor. This apprehension is due to perceived high overheads, potential financial pressures, and lack of work for apprentices after training. Employers are concerned about the return on their investment and the commercial risk of employing apprentices during training. The cyclical nature of the industry creates periods of economic boom and bust, which also affects potential learners’ career decision making. This issue has rarely been effectively addressed.

23. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Technology

One of the great strengths of these programs is that trainees learn practical applications of math, science, and communication without taking separate academic subjects. Programs in Japan, Australia, and the U.K. provide advanced training opportunities for further development and growth of top-quality craftsmen. The U.K. has suffered a great decline in its construction apprenticeship program that now limits its capabilities to open, assess, and resolve material, energy, and technology issues. Restricted skilled dialogue exchanges between architects, engineers, building owners, and craftsmen can slow the growth of quality in advanced construction activities. Use of mass-produced semi-new building fabric, scaffold systems, and temporary building supports can move advanced construction activities forward without a need for fully competent trades. Conclusions and future directions call attention to some existing programs that are addressing material, energy, and employment challenges.

Many countries throughout the world have apprenticeship programs that prepare workers for careers in the construction industry. This chapter reviews existing apprenticeship programs such as in Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom (U.K.), and the United States. These countries have developed highly successful programs that feature a combination of classroom instruction and practical, on-the-job training. These programs offer training in various construction trades, such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and masonry. They also provide opportunities to explore new construction materials and technology issues. A U.S. apprenticeship program allows trainees to mix and match various course offerings and terminations to acquire broader construction backgrounds.

24. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Health and Safety

In the UK Construction Industry, apprenticeships last between 2 and 4 years, although it appears the shorter program length represents the minimum rather than typical length taken to achieve a level 2 or 3 qualification in basic or advanced construction. The apprentice is usually required to complete a vocational qualification, after which they are required to pass an end-point assessment and study the establishment’s health and safety duties, the health and welfare options for the apprentice, and the accident prevention processes, with all evaluation based on practical exercises on any live work.

Traditional apprenticeships for skilled trades (craftsmen) by those setting up as self-employed take place around the age of 21 and can be best characterized as less structured than between 16 and 21. Recruitment is predominantly face-to-face, combined with growth in a person’s personal network. In the final year of an apprenticeship, the topic of health and safety, how it impacts on the job security of the young worker (what apprentices, not surprisingly, see as their main aim), how to complete the end-of-year project well enough to pass the qualification but not so well as to slow them down, and any health effects from any accidents are papered over when they are discovered in later life as older adults onset illnesses.

25. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Economics

For practical purposes, apprentices (and construction apprenticeship programs) can be thought of as entities studying to become workers who perform construction activities to support architects, engineers, and designers in the broad creation of man-made structures. This includes considering both the physical features and economic feasibility of these structures, taking into account modern society’s demands, available resources, and business environment constraints. It also involves understanding the shared responsibilities of social business cultures. These construction entities must combine and efficiently use basic practical physical abilities, technological knowledge of proven construction techniques from at least the mid-1960s, and fundamental concepts of good and effective management. This includes economic feasibility assessment, relevant public and private regulations, tax effects, and payment due dates for the work and the company. It also includes considerations of health and social security contributions. These points are further emphasized by the established science-based educational standards for the occupation, including standard formal qualifications.

This article provides economic perspectives on some aspects of formal programs oriented towards skilled and semi-skilled construction occupation preparation. It discusses what these programs are, their 2004-2019 history in the UK after major restructuring, teaching construction economics and construction project management to apprentices, longer-term industry culture shifts, and related national policy issues regarding structure, population character, and skills. The discussion aims to be realistic and cautious, emphasizing that the physical construction and economic realities must govern the educational system.

26. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Law

A particular category which is almost systematically mentioned in the sample regulation shown in the related database is that of the apprentice; indeed, most (if not all) construction sector-specific legislations provide for the setting up of specific legal schemes by which an elementary employee-worker status related to the building industry is molded. Apprenticeship programs in the building sector are as such a matter worthy of a thorough analysis from a comparative labour law perspective. Empire Builders were generally able to pick up skills on the job, although not on a regular basis, so were apprentices and journeymen, while the next classes of workers in the building industry, the carpenters and the bricklayers, had little chances of practicing their skills outside the protection of the guild of the relevant trade, as could not be otherwise when the task involved the construction and the maintenance of the fundamental girders of the empire itself.

In 2018, FEAM conducted a legal study on the construction sector which surveyed key aspects of national regulation on human resources (employment schemes as well as training). The related database of national laws and regulations is made up of 11 ‘country profiles’ as well as eight ‘fact sheets’. At the core of the study is the identification of national specificities when it comes to national rules which recognize and govern the legal status of those observed categories (usually dubbed ’employees’ or ‘workers’), and which further specify the main conditions under which those categories are legally hired, or dismissed.

27. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Finance

Apprentices may be less productive and contribute less to the company than workers in other categories of the companies. That is why, when choosing the number of apprentices to be employed, social actors involved in vocational training have to convince the company of the long-term benefit gained under an apprenticeship training scheme. Employability in the labor market also depends on whether points stay on a job where they hope the company will be traded by providing any other benefits. Model of apprenticeships and trade. Employment economists in conditions of uncertainty can provide a structure of how apprenticeships can exist in the first place and trade in apprenticeships later. Results identify circumstances under which utilizing and training an. More accurate explanation exists if apprentice ready can produce a wide range of taught skills, the only thing about jobs.

From the company viewpoint, the costs of apprenticeship training are typically identified as management and costs that do not necessarily render any short-term financial return. This is particularly the case in the construction industry, where employers and organizations may no longer cover the direct costs of the specific skills. For example, in construction, unlike and parallel to other industries, higher education may command and charge minimal fees of $3,000. Employer apprenticeship fees are estimated to increase by 43 percent if training is required, as employer fees are 50 percent for the compulsory co-financing for SMEs, chosen compared to new free apprenticeship inclining within the top ten occupations that required the largest area. UWESU8 also falls. However, governments were also considered the impact of the cost of easily accessible their own skills.

28. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Project Controls

In the UK, a variety of pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs lead to a specified construction trade for ages 16 and up. Workers are trained in and enter the workforce as craft workers. As a project controls activity (defined as craft knowledge that is unique to a single construction discipline), apprenticeship programs in construction project controls are designed to lead to the occupation levels of journey-level craft worker, field supervisor, and trade contractor/specialty trade subcontractor. Construction project controls apprenticeship programs at these levels, implemented by joint labor and management committees through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship or state apprenticeship agencies, involve the direct application of proven missions and procedures and require job performance, theoretical knowledge, and related supplemental instruction experience.

Individuals who engage in construction project controls activities at the occupation levels of construction craft worker, field supervisor, and trade contractor need to have training and readiness. By the nature of the work, development of mastery standard trades knowledge and skills also occur through normal work activities and on-the-job supervision. Workers with readiness for project controls activities can be operational as basic level workers and develop, with continued experience, to intermediate, proficient, and even advanced levels of performance. Because training and readiness involve a combination of knowledge, skills, and procedures that do not necessarily reflect trade knowledge and skills, a novice worker re-entry program is set forth to help novice workers develop readiness.

29. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Quality Control

Motivated by some of these, the authors develop a general framework for the joint determination of the length of the training period and the probability of apprenticeship acceptance. The employer faces the same training decision as in earlier models, but now the trainee, employer, and an external observer can all monitor the ability of the trainee to become a good worker. As in most previous models of training, training can take one of two forms: either on-the-job training or “apprenticeship” in a fixed period of externality. Prospective employers can observe the trainee’s training outcomes but not the match-specific productivity. A sufficiently low probability of acceptance ensures that the equilibrium coexists with marginal employment of the trainee, but it also imposes an ex-ante informal constraint on the trainee to enter. Without this constraint, a long training period arises under simple replacement assumptions and policies. The authors also identify a mixed strategy equilibrium in which both forms of training occur, but the duration of on-the-job training is essentially zero. In this case, wages and the duration of the externality are increasing in the probability of acceptance.

Large numbers of employers in the UK construction industry provide apprentice training, but the industry often has difficulty in providing the quality skills required by the trainees. To address this matter, several established firms have developed methods to monitor the quality of their apprentice programs. This chapter presents some of these methods and points out that problems with the apprentices are often a symptom of problems with the firm. Therefore, the effective operation of such systems often requires not only control at the apprentice level but also at the firm level. In contrast to the commonly used statistical models of the apprentice training process that assume that the apprentice performance is uniquely determined by the training to date, before deciding whether or not an apprentice is finally accepted, some of these schemes remain unique. They provide short-term training, followed by selection, rejection, or further training. This allows direct monitoring of the effectiveness of both the training side and the recruitment and selection process. Of course, such schemes would probably not be applicable to apprentices bound to large new production processes, where training may be several years long and the marginal cost of a further year’s training would often be small. Some implications of these moderating decisions in the training and matching settings are discussed.

30. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Environmental Management

Within the UK construction industry, the size and intensity of its environmental impacts have long been recognized with a number of stakeholders developing and implementing solutions targeting its improvement. However, how to make beneficial environmental construction management practices affordable, nutrition, amenable to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as enabling SMEs to stand for Home Grown overlapping, the recent European Legislative changes around Energy Performance of Buildings (Directive 2010.31) are forcing a drive towards the construction of low carbon buildings into the design and construction process. This has further highlighted the need for construction management to evolve while keeping up with similar developments in technology as construction materials but still state-of-the-art and innovative environmental solutions.

Cooperation between the construction company and the supply chain, communication with and engagement of the public in the construction works, as well as accessible Environmental Management Systems and their implementation by the workforce, lack of competence and/or awareness have been identified as major contributory reasons that remain consistent through time and across borders. Numerous pieces of research acknowledged the critical importance of influencing the people that turn construction designs into built creations to turn their new work into “green” creations.

At the same time, policymakers, employers, and society as a whole raise concerns over the impact of construction works on the environment and quality of life. In the last decade, the CPM Leader implemented a series of key pieces of environmental legislation that made the construction industry one of the heavily regulated and monitored in relation to environmental management and performance. In theory, increased regulation and reduced impacts are the outcome. However, in practice, a number of studies have identified shortcomings in the way construction organizations deal with environmental challenges.

The construction industry of the United Kingdom employs millions of people, skilled and non-skilled, professionals and tradespeople. There are several apprentice schemes available to young people wanting to pursue a career in construction, ranging from trade apprenticeships with multi-nationals to newer and more focused higher apprenticeship programs with small and medium-sized enterprises within the indoor and built environment. Both deliver quality homegrown workforce to this vital industry and reduce the burden on the national education budget as well.

31. Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Leadership

While there are reported problems with micro businesses, the industry requires more project managers, senior managers, supervisors, team leaders, working foremen, and professional leaders in construction SMEs. These problems have contributed to the view that construction management development is not a priority among UK construction SMEs, which demand and will demand adequate management to meet their professional management and technical leadership needs. Thus, our purpose in this paper is to provide empirical evidence on how the UK can raise and cater to skilled UK construction workforces in this challenging sector and its skills gap and complex leadership skills challenges. Specifically, this research evaluates the role of micro-business firms in UK construction companies, enabling them to develop construction leaders through an apprenticeship degree program. This research makes two contributions. First, it provides empirical evidence on how university students in the UK construction degree program identify and learn construction leadership skills from the program. Second, it provides empirical evidence, in mixed method data, on how micro and SME construction companies identify potential construction leaders. This study follows the work of Li and Ng well in Domain-Specific Vision Statement, Utility Frame, and Rule of Thumb in the agreement stages. In the disagreement stage, the study traces various soft skills, such as decision-making at all levels, based on one of the most important ideas.

Construction is one of the most important industries in the UK, making a significant contribution to the economy. However, it is a diverse industry with a mix of employers ranging from sole traders to main contractors. The UK Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) categorizes small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are generally contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, as well as individuals or zero-person enterprises, as micro businesses. According to the organization, the industry is dominated by micro and SME enterprises, which make up 97-99% of construction companies. Thus, it can be argued that the major problem in the construction industry, especially in the small to medium-sized sector, is a reluctance to innovate. Scholars have linked this to various socio-economic issues, such as a lack of skills and leadership in the sector. Additionally, research has indicated a lack of research into the complexity of developing construction leadership in the UK construction industry (CI) due to the micro business sector.

31.1 Introduction

32. Conclusion

The construction industry depends on its workforce to execute the production and provision of its goods and services. Due to globalization and advancements in technology, the demand for technical expertise has increased while the means for developing such a skilled workforce have stagnated. The skills crisis has been widely acknowledged in the UK construction industry. Its reflection of an aging workforce presents the industry as unattractive to young individuals, and consequently, there will be a major shortfall in 2028 when baby boomers finally retire. All the concern evident in the UK government reports is for its further lifespan, but less is studied. The potential growth reflected in the female populace is expected to increase. This is a current major issue, and further investigations are required to understand how best to begin to address it.

The economy of most developed countries is facing skill shortages and skill gaps, and so is the construction industry in the UK. The industry is currently dealing with the challenges of an aging workforce, an imminent skills shortage, and an unattractive industry image. Apprenticeship programmes in the industry are seen as a measure to bridge the gap and develop higher-level skills. This book aims to understand the attraction and recruitment strategies of UK construction apprenticeship programmes. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is found to be inappropriate for identifying a potential student base, and a Career Skill Development Approach (CSDA) is introduced to provide the required strategies. The nature of this research is exploratory. Suggestions for future inquiries on the subject are also addressed in the book.