Statistics show that in March 2019 there were only 694 apprenticeship starts in the construction, planning and the built environment sector, compared with 1,247 in March 2018.
Brian Berry, chief executive at the FMB, said: “Construction apprenticeship starts have suffered a serious hit and we now need decisive action from the government in order to reverse this decline.
“The government must… make provision for full funding at all ages, for first qualifications at Level 2 and 3.
- DFT roundtable: Aggressive business plans, development delays and managing expectations
- Construction industry 'seriously affected' by Brexit uncertainty
- FMB supports Labour's PD reform, but says planning must be funded
“Of course, the construction industry itself must do more to rally around a shared ambition to promote the industry and all its merits, such as innovation, design and entrepreneurship.
“The drop in starts by almost half should sound the alarm that we aren’t doing enough to get the message out there.
“If we don’t address the skills shortage by increasing training and apprenticeships, the construction industry won’t be able to expand and grow.
“Introducing a mandatory licensing scheme for UK construction could help create the culture change our industry needs by improving our reputation through increased quality and professionalism and thus make us more attractive to new entrants.”