Mark Hoban MP, Minister of State for Employment today (4 July) signed a Partnership Agreement with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) which pledges that both parties will do all they can to boost employment and training in the SME construction sector.

The Partnership Agreement, which formalises the already collaborative relationship between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the FMB, was signed at an event in Westminster this morning. From the FMB’s perspective, the agreement will help members with:

  • Access to labour market intelligence
  • Opportunities to recruit and train people keen to enter the SME construction sector
  • Opportunities to recruit people under the Youth Contract and other DWP Initiatives including the Wage Incentive
  • First-hand information regarding new government employment initiatives and welfare reform i.e. the Youth Contract, Wage Incentive, Universal Credit and Universal Jobmatch.

Mr Hoban said: “This government is committed to ensuring that all young people have a good start to their careers. That’s why we invested £1bn in the Youth Contract – a scheme dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to get the skills and experience they need to succeed in life. But in order for this scheme to work, we rely on employers opening their doors to young people – and trade associations are a key partner in achieving this goal. To date, we have signed partnership agreements with 13 trade associations, and I hope to see the success continue and grow.”

Martin Brown, work services director for Wales and Employers, DWP said: “The aim of these events is to provide an opportunity for trade associations to get a better understanding of the support available to their members, to identify how we can work with them to develop their workforce and to increase opportunities available to jobseekers. Our relationship with trade associations helps ensure information about practical support, such as our Youth Contract Wage Inventive, which reaches the 400,000 employers represented by trade associations here today. The Youth Contract is making a real difference to unemployed young people, and employers should be proud of the crucial role that they play in this.”

Jim Gilmour, national president of the FMB, said: “The FMB already has an extremely close working relationship with the DWP but this Partnership Agreement will allow us to build on that, with the aim of improving access to those seeking a rewarding career in the construction SME sector. I am delighted to sign this agreement on behalf of the FMB and hope that it serves to raise the profile of our sector and raise awareness of the many opportunities available.”