Homeowners prefer to choose a builder who is training the next generation

Apprentices are "good for your business" and homeowners are more likely to choose a building firm if they are training the next generation of tradespeople, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

According to new research from the building industry's trade association, 50 per cent of householders prefer to hire builders who employ apprentices with two in five respondents also more likely to recommend a builder to a friend or family member if they are training the next generation.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “This new research confirms what many of us already knew – apprentices are good for your business.

"The building industry is extremely competitive and these results suggest that training an apprentice will help a firm stand out from the crowd. Home owners aren’t just concerned about the craftsmanship of their builder, they want to know they are hiring a firm with strong values.

"It therefore makes sense that a business that invests in young people is seen in a better light. If the burgeoning skills crisis in the construction industry wasn’t enough to motivate those firms not already training to start doing so, hopefully this evidence will do the trick. It’s helpful to know that apprenticeship training can not only provide rewarding career opportunities for young people, but it can also help a firm’s bottom line.”

Based on responses from 2,000 home owners across the UK, the study also revealed that two thirds have a more favourable image of a construction company knowing they train apprentices.

However, with the introduction of the Government’s new Apprenticeship Levy on large firms coming into force in April, "this year could see a big shift in terms of who is directly involved in apprenticeship training," says Berry.

"In construction, two-thirds of all apprentices are trained by SMEs and it is our hope that the new Levy will encourage the larger firms to also engage more readily in training the future workforce.

"What’s great about this research is that it demonstrates the positive image that a real focus on quality training can bring to a company from a commercial perspective – no doubt this applies across the business community and not just in the construction sector.”

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