CITB is to set up a high profile commission to develop a long-term apprenticeship strategy for the construction industry.

The commission will make recommendations on ways the industry can significantly increase the number of apprentices in the system while maintaining the ‘gold standard’ training valued by the firms employing them.

The announcement follows a government pledge to provide an additional £170 million for small businesses to support over 100,000 new apprenticeship places in the next two years.

James Wates, Chairman of CITB said: “We face a perfect storm. Construction is set to lose 400,000 workers to retirement in the next five years and, over the same period; we are set to create 182,000 jobs.

“With the economy picking up, we have a superb opportunity to appeal to a new generation of construction workers and to train them for a rewarding career in construction.

“During the course of the recession, the needs of employers have changed, and so to the industry’s. To compete globally, we need to ensure that our apprentices are skilled and trained to their full potential.

“It’s the right time to deliver a new Apprenticeship Strategy for Construction. It will drive greater employer commitment to apprenticeships and ensure that we provide solutions to Government to help get Britain’s young people back to work.”

The Apprenticeship Commission will develop an Apprenticeship Strategy by the end of the year. High profile commissioners are currently being approached to lead this important industry strategy and will be announced shortly.