“We will always have a need for the traditional skills of bricklayers, plumbers and alike” was the message that was delivered by Nick Boles MP at Ian Hodgkinson’s Westminster reception.
The apprenticeships ministergave his speech in the Jubilee Room inside Parliament at the Building Britain’s Future event on May 3, which was attended by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Amanda Solloway MP, housing minister Brandon Lewis MP and 100 construction professionals to address the major skills shortage in the industry.
Derby brickwork boss, Ian Hodgkinson and his team of apprentices built a wall directly beneath Big Ben in a bid to encourage more young people to consider bricklaying as a career and will now be rolling out the National Construction Academy with plans to have 40 academies across the UK within the next five years.
Brandon Lewis MP gave a speech on Speakers Green alongside Amanda Solloway MP, who was hosting the event, and both promoted the construction industry as a fantastic career opportunity for people leaving school and spoke of the shortage that the UK is facing.
Ian said: “We are absolutely delighted with how the Building Britain’s Future event went. There aren’t many bigger stages to promote the construction industry and all of my team will remember it for the rest of their lives. To receive the support from Amanda, Nick and Brandon was amazing and we’re delighted that Jeremy Corbyn also came down to talk to some of the apprentices.
“I can’t believe how many people turned up, from clients to suppliers as well as the MPs it was a fantastic event and will have gone a long way to show to young people why the construction industry is a fantastic career option. We set out to change the perception of the industry and show them that a career in construction can be very rewarding.”
The National Construction Academy has been formed following a successful year long Derby based project, to produce more apprentice bricklayers in the East Midlands and the new national academy will be linked with training provider 3AAA.
The UK has constantly missed the target of 250,000 new homes being built every year and Ian, who founded his bricklaying business in 1990, believes that brickwork academies are the best way to address the skills crisis.
Ian added: “We’ve had other projects in Derby to try to address the skills shortage in the East Midlands, which have been a huge success and because of that, 3AAA approached us to help us turn it into a National academy. This has given us a fantastic platform to tackle the skills crisis and we are planning to start rolling it out in July.”
For more information, please visit: www.bricklayers.com