Andrew Jones MP joined forces with Derry Construction and apprentices in Parliament to back construction apprenticeships. These are essential to meeting the sector’s skills needs after the government’s announcement of over 220,000 new construction jobs in the next five years.
Andrew Jones, the Member of Parliament for Harrogate and Knaresborough attended the Construction Industry Training Board’s (CITB) I’m Backing Apprenticeships campaign launch last Wednesday. At the event apprentices, employers and the Skills Minister spoke of what can be done to increase the number of businesses and people starting apprenticeships. Speakers at the event included Skills Minister Nick Boles and CITB Chairman James Wates.
The campaign has been launched in response to two surveys for CITB. A ComRes survey revealed that 80% of MPs agree that ‘full employment’ cannot be achieved without apprenticeships, while a report by Demos showed that most of the general public (72%) would prefer their children to go to university instead.
Mr Jones considered these issues with Shane Derry of Derry Construction and Liam Derry, an apprentice who works at the company. Both had travelled from Harrogate for the event and were keen to share their experience of apprenticeships and their own views on what the industry requires in order to continue to thrive.
Andrew Jones MP commented:
I was very happy to welcome Shane and Liam to Parliament in order to hear more about CITB’s campaign, as well as to find out how apprenticeships have benefited them personally.
As a former Government Apprenticeship Ambassador, I am all too aware of the benefits of apprenticeships both to the apprentice and the employer.
Increasing the number of people entering construction in Harrogate and Knaresborough is vitally important, and I plan to do all I can to ensure my constituents are fully aware of the fantastic opportunities an apprenticeship can offer.
Shane Derry of Derry Construction, added:
Apprenticeships are incredibly important to the success of Derry Construction and our industry as a whole, and I’m very happy to see my local MP lend his support to CITB’s I’m Backing Apprenticeships campaign.
CITB is working to improve and increase the number of construction apprenticeships through not only this campaign, but a range of industry-focused initiatives. This includes building a comprehensive picture of supply and demand for skills in construction; making CITB funding easier and faster for employers to access; a new careers web portal for those interested in joining construction; and by supporting and maintaining qualifications and standards to meet industry needs.