By Lyndon Wood, CEO and Founder of

If we continue to fail to upskill the aging construction sector we could see the industry weakening and the economic recovery could fall into reverse.

According to the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), only around 1-2% of the construction sector are aged 16-18 which means the workforce isn’t being replenished.

This is why it’s vital that our construction firms are poised to take on an apprentice.

The bottom line is this: apprenticeships are good for businesses and business owners. Research by the CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research) found that for every £1 of public funding spent on apprenticeships, they bring a return of £21.

There are many ways trade firms can go about taking on an apprentice, but here are a few easy starting points:

1. Register with the National Apprentice Service2. Find an apprenticeship organisation3. Find out if you qualify for a grant4. Make an apprenticeship agreement

Businesses throughout the construction sector face many challenges including technological advancements, shifting markets and heavy competition.

That’s why strategy and anticipation should be top of the list. Businesses that take on apprentices are improving their ability to become competitive in an evolving marketplace.

Comprehensive modern training courses are designed with the employer in mind. This means that you can take on an apprentice with a skill that your company is already lacking in.

You will not only be able to optimise the skills of the apprentice; your business will also become more skill-dense because you’ve introduced new knowledge to your existing workplace.

Your corporate image has a huge effect on the success of your business and if you fail to keep up with market demand by introducing new skills this could jeopardise your credibility.

When you take on an apprentice not only are you arming them with a more stable market proposition, you are also arming your business.

If we do not address the skill shortage by taking on more apprentices, we could end up in a similar situation as the post 1990 recession. This is not a place that British businesses and the British economy can afford to be.

By helping apprentices grow, you are helping the economy grow, and a healthy economy is the best economy for business.