Next government must reverse decline in construction skills, says FMB

The FMB's Brian Berry

Investment and policy reform are urgently required in order to remove barriers to builders to train more apprentices, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), in response to the Conservative Party manifesto.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The construction industry must not face a ‘cliff edge’ when it comes to skilled migrant labour, if we are to meet our house building and infrastructure targets. The Conservative Party must therefore ensure that their Australian-style points-based system incorporates priority occupations and reflects the needs of businesses.”

Berry concluded: “The industry still relies on skilled labour from the EU and will continue to do so until we encourage more young people into construction and train more of our domestic workforce. The Conservatives’ pledge to invest £3 billion in the National Skills Fund, and also in Further Education, is welcomed in order to reverse the decline in entry level apprenticeships in the sector. It’s not just a question of greater investment but also reforming the policy landscape, and we look forward to working with the next government to reform the Apprenticeship Levy to ensure it addresses skills shortages in construction.”