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BESA Urges Building Services Employers to Reset Their Approach to Recruitment

BESA Urges Building Services Employers to Reset Their Approach to Recruitment
05 February 2024

BESA’s Director of Training and Skills believes more companies need to “step up and walk the walk by committing to take on more apprentices.”

Helen Yeulet made the comments to mark National Apprenticeship Week and the relaunch of BESA’s “Future Skills” pledge.

She said: “We desperately need the new ideas and perspectives that apprentices bring to our businesses. This is particularly crucial as we adopt more emerging technologies and processes to address climate change and make buildings safer and healthier.”

Referring to the government’s Boiler Upgrade Scheme and the skills gap in labour to fulfil this, she said: “There is little point in the government incentivising market growth if the industry cannot supply the skilled manpower to keep up with demand.”


Apprenticeship Levy Covers Training and Assessment Costs


Helen also pointed out that as much as 95 per cent of an apprentice's training and assessment costs are covered by the government via the apprenticeship levy. This was introduced in 2017 and applies to employers with an annual wage bill of more than £3 million. 0.5 per cent of the company’s payroll each month is then charged as a levy tax, which can be reinvested into apprenticeship training. 

Despite this, data from The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) shows that the number of apprentices starting in SMEs has dropped by 49 per cent since the introduction of the levy. There were 241,000 new apprenticeship starts in SMEs in England in 2016/17, compared to 123,800 in 2020/21.


Future Skills Pledge


This National Apprenticeship Week, BESA wants building services employers to show their commitment to upskilling the workforce by signing up for its Future Skills pledge.

By taking the pledge, employers can help BESA identify desired training resources and provide advice about possible training providers, funding, and access to suitable candidates.

Find out more about the pledge here.

Picture: a photograph of Helen. Image Credit: BESA

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 February 2024


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