Why we need to train for the future


A couple of things recently have moved me to comment on why we need to train apprentices for the future.

Despite separate reports, which I received and which seem a little contradictory, they point to one conclusion: though not everyone might feel it, there are clear signs that the economic recovery is here and that it is leading to labour shortages.

At the same time there seems genuine commitment from the Scottish Government to support more young people in sustainable jobs.

The conclusion must be that if businesses wish to benefit from the economic recovery, we need to start training apprentices now before it’s too late.

Phil Ford, the new Scottish Strategic Director of CITB, said: ” There are clear signs that the industry is now picking up after the most difficult recession in living memory, and it is encouraging to see that apprentice numbers are steadily increasing from the same point last year.

“This year, to date, around 1332 young people have started a Modern Apprenticeship, which is an increase of 128 from 2013.

“1145 are new starters with 187 re-starting their apprenticeship after facing redundancy. Thankfully, there has been a steady drop in the number of redundant apprentices in recent months.

“The number of Modern Apprenticeship starts for the P&D sector are also increasing with more registrations, so far, going through SPADAC.

“The biggest challenge now is to continue to promote construction as a career of choice to young people in order to increase the number of high quality young people entering the industry, and encourage experienced workers to return to construction.

“The Construction Skills Network labour market information shows an annual recruitment of 850 for the P&D sector, and CITB looks forward to working closely with the SDF and its members to meet the skills challenges ahead.”

A second important issue is how many companies in the UK and Europe paid Holiday Pay. It is now clear that there is a requirement to pay Holiday Pay at average earnings.

We ran a number of seminars recently to explain to employers what is required with 15% of members attending.

I would recommend members take specialist and specific legal advice from a qualified employment law professional.

Members can contact our Employment Advisor who has special rates for members by phoning the office on 01786 448838 for his contact details.

The employers’ organisation, CBI Scotland, warned on 2nd October that a recent court ruling on Holiday Pay could cause businesses to fold. This a week AFTER we held our seminars!


This blog originally appeared in the Autumn 2014 issue of Decorating Matters.