Builders' Merchants News and Builders Merchants Federation are teaming up to host a roundtable next week to debate what can be done to address the apprenticeship challenge.

The skills crisis within the wider construction sector has been widely reported after CITB’s annual Construction Skills Network report in January concluded that 45,000 new construction workers were needed each year to meet demands between now and 2027.

It is also widely recognised that the most effective route and the one driven by the government to train new colleagues into construction is apprenticeships but less than 20,000 apprentices are currently graduating into construction roles each year.

The challenges are almost identical within the building materials supply sector with a similar need to grow the workforce in line with construction growth.

Total membership of the Builders Merchants Federation stands at 880 and together employ over 220,000 people. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunites for apprentices to join a thriving industry.

Builders' Merchants News and BMF are joining forces to host a roundtable to look at a variety of issues. Among the seven topics being discussed will be:

  • The utilisation of the Apprenticeship Levy/building material supply specific statistics
  • Total learning solutions commercial training/apprenticeships
  • Transferrable skills
  • Attraction & Diversity in the industry

Carlton Manufacturing, Emerys, NMBS, Travis Perkins, LEAP, MP Moran, BMF and Brett Landscaping are among the companies confirmed.

The debate, which takes place on Wednesday 13 September at BMN's offices in Blackfriars, will be featured across multiple social media platforms and a write-up will appear in October's issue of BMN.