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Apprenticeship training is key to the future of the UK construction sector

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World Cement,

Strong October growth

The construction sector in the UK welcomed strong growth for October 2013 and it is predicted that this figure will rise over the next few months. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the industry had experienced 2.2% growth in October, compared to a 0.5% decrease in September. Furthermore, the ONS announced in its 3Q13 report that the manufacturing and service sectors had witnessed 0.9% and 0.7% growth, respectively. The GDP of the UK rose by 0.8% between July and September, the fastest growth for three years.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, commented on the growth: "What's encouraging about these figures is that it's not just services that are growing. Construction is growing and manufacturing is growing."

Future growth is reliant on apprenticeship training

"In the construction sector we are confident that we can build on these figures, employ more people and train more youngsters in the future," said Will Davies, Founder and MD of Property Maintenance and Refurbishment company, Aspect. "We must be aware that growth in the construction sector will falter unless we train more young tradesmen."

"All of the building trades have been hit by the recession and an almost non-existent housing market for the past six or seven years. If we don't start training youngsters immediately our economic growth will be dependent upon importing skilled labour from Eastern Europe," continued Mr Davies, a long-term campaigner for a return to a traditional system of apprenticeship training.

Research from a leading UK small business insurer published earlier this year discovered that 25% of plumbers and 19% of bricklayers have left their trades over the last four years.

"There are still over one million young unemployed in this country and they are becoming totally demoralised by the job market. Providing them with high quality training is the key to preparing them for a lifetime of work and the construction sector has a large part to play. If we don't deal with the problem we will be paying for our failure for decades to come," said Mr Davies.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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