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CONSTRUCTION APPRENTICES

Laying the foundations for the next generation

Increased confidence in the construction sector is being reported and Kent will, according to experts, benefit from rising workloads in Greater London.

The Construction Products Association has predicted growth within the construction sector of approximately 2% in 2014, followed by 4% in 2015.

Yet, with these optimistic figures comes a gloomy warning. The UK construction industry has been warned by industry skills body CITB that it is likely to face a massive skills shortage. With approximately 400,000 skilled workers set to retire within the next ten years, the construction industry needs to make a conscious effort to recruit.

Maidstone is no exception to this shortage and apprenticeships are one option if employers are willing to take them on.

Training

All apprentices are entitled to a negotiated training plan or contract with either the employer or the training provider. Quality training is crucial and is often considered more important than completion of work. Apprentices are even entitled to release from work to attend training and time to study in work time, as well as support, guidance, mentoring and regular assessment. Contracts are usually defined by the amount of time it takes the apprentice to gain their skills and are only terminable at the end of that period.

Wages and Holiday

The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice aged 16 to 18, and for those in their first year aged 19 or over, is £2.68 per hour. Apprentices aged 19 and above who have completed their first year are entitled to the minimum wage for their age.

Apprentices are entitled to be paid for their normal working hours (usually 30 hours per week) combined with any training (usually one day per week).

Apprentices must receive at least 20 days of paid holiday per year, plus bank holidays.

Health and Safety

As with all construction employees, apprentices will be entitled to a suitable site induction on health and safety matters, information and training for the
specific work that is being carried out, including the risks and precautions required, the site rules and emergency procedures.

For more information contact David Brown at d.brown@gullands.com