Construction Futures has given evidence to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, highlighting the national potential of the scheme.
The Committee is conducting an inquiry into apprenticeships and listened to evidence from a panel of experts at Northampton Guildhall in March 2012.
Having established Construction Futures in 2009, West Northamptonshire Development Corporation presented compelling evidence about the impact of the ground-breaking training scheme.
WNDC’s Chief Executive, Peter Mawson said “I think the potential of Construction Futures captured the imagination of the Select Committee. The scheme works on a number of levels. It enables local people to benefit from new development and receive on-site training alongside a college course. It also helps to fill skills shortages in the construction industry, which has historically struggled to train the work force of tomorrow. ”
“The scheme does not just benefit the trainees, but also the local authorities and developers who adopt the system. We have high aspirations for Construction Futures and over time, believe it will have an impact nationwide.”
Peter Mawson highlighted the challenges of training within the construction industry; as it is highly segmented, with particularly high levels of subcontracting. Large-scale apprenticeship programmes and initiatives are traditionally very difficult to implement in the sector. However, Construction Futures has overcome these challenges, by agreeing apprenticeship opportunities with developers when planning applications are determined.
The BIS Select Committee inquiry is examining the expenditure, administration and policy of apprenticeship schemes in the UK. Once all the evidence has been considered, its findings will be reported to the House of Commons. The final inquiry meeting is due to take place on 16 May.
The Northampton BIS Select Committee Inquiry follows a recent visit to the town by Business Secretary Vince Cable, who visited Construction Futures trainees and endorsed its innovative approach.