Toppesfield, one of the UK’s fastest growing road construction companies, today announced that one in ten of its operational work force will be joining an apprenticeship scheme.
Almost 10 per cent of the company’s 150 strong operational workforce will be enrolling on the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Accredited Apprenticeship in Highways Maintenance, in October and November this year.
Toppesfield CEO and founder, Matthew Pryor, said: “People entering the workforce need to be given the opportunity to progress and develop in order for the next generation of talent. By developing top industry talent in-house we have put ourselves in a prime position to be able to take a lead over our competition and win major contracts.”
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The course has been designed to prepare new entrants into the industry to become skilled workers in road surfacing. They will gain Level 1 in Functional Skills, English and Maths; Level 2 Construction Diploma in Highways Maintenance and a Level 2 NVQ in Flexible Pavement Construction.
The firm’s commitment to the apprenticeship scheme is part of a wider strategy by Toppesfield to invest in current and recruit new talent across various competencies, such as sales, marketing and commercial business development.
In the past two years the firm has increased its turnover from £20million to £80million, created more than 150 jobs and is contributing to the maintenance and improvement of the UK’s major road networks.
New analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, reveals a growing mismatch between the construction industry’s increasing demand for skills and a falling number of people gaining construction qualifications.
Currently over half (56 per cent) of vacancies in the construction sector are hard to fill, up from 46 per cent in 2011 and almost triple the proportion of skilled hard to fill vacancies across the economy as a whole.
Previous LGA research has highlighted that between 16 and 25 per cent of forecast economic growth could be lost up to 2022 if employers cannot recruit the skills and capabilities that they need, which could include up to £24 billion of output from the construction sector.