The latest data shows that apprenticeships within the construction industry are on the rise again for the first time in six years. Research by Protrade, the UK supplier of power tools and consumables, shows that there were approximately 26,100 new apprenticeships started in the sector between 2021-22, the first annual increase since 2016-17.
As part of that data, ethnic minority representation continues to grow, with a 6.47% representation in that overall figure - its highest point ever. While female apprenticeship representation declined slightly to 7.35% over the last 12 months, although this figure remains better than the recorded findings from the three years between 2016 and 2019.
With regards to age uptake, 19-24 remains the most prominent age for apprenticeship starts within the construction industry, although the number of people aged 25-34 that have moved into apprenticeship roles has risen to its highest number in six years.
Speaking about the latest data, Craig Sanders, Joint Managing Director at Protrade, said: “The construction industry has continued to move forward despite the pandemic. That wasn’t the case for a lot of industries and, perhaps, people viewed construction as a more solid career path, that it was recession and more pandemic-proof.
“But this doesn’t tell the whole story. Certainly, what we are seeing is that the construction sector is slowly becoming more inclusive. But there is still a long way with many more hurdles to overcome in order to be at the same level as other leading industries with regards to diversity.”
More still needs to be done to make apprenticeships more appealing to young people and more diverse. And there remains a stereotype around the word apprenticeship.
It’s always been assumed by young people that it isn’t well-paid and you get the worst jobs. With that in mind, more needs to be done to promote the opportunity of a rewarding environment and a long career in the construction industry.