MPs urge more construction appreticeships

Local MP Mary Macleod was joined by the Work and Pensions Secretary, Rt Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, earlier last week for a visit to Mace, construction partners for the new Sky campus development. Both MPs called for more apprentices in the construction industry.

The MPs were impressed with the range of opportunities that young apprentices were being offered in Osterley. All of them are working at the new Sky site, which will see the number of people it employs grow to 12,000 employees – up from 8,000.

Sky and Mace are contributing to the local community by training long-term unemployed workers and apprentices. Frank Spragg and Max Petrucci, Employment and Skills Managers for Sky and Mace respectively, detailed the difficulty in identifying long-term unemployed workers and highlighted the strategic partnership they have found with the Jobcentre plus.

The two-week training scheme sees the participants graduate with 5 construction qualifications. 50% of participants become employed with Mace, while the others continue further training and apprenticeships to enhance their employability.

Mary and Mr Duncan Smith toured the building site and spoke to four apprentices who went through the Mace training scheme.

  1. Liam is doing an apprenticeship in carpentry.
  2. James has an apprenticeship in construction.
  3. Amber is gaining Health and Safety qualifications.
  4. Richard is undertaking a construction apprenticeship.

The apprentices were enthusiastic and loved their current roles and were thankful to Mace and Sky for the opportunities provided to them and others.

The Work and Pensions Secretary, Rt Hon. Iain Duncan Smith said:

“It is great to see the partnership between Sky, Mace, and Jobcentre Plus, who are working to build skills and create jobs in the local community. We met four outstanding apprentices who went through Sky’s training scheme and are now in full time work or apprenticeships. The commitment by many businesses to include apprenticeships in their strategies is apparent in the 147,500 apprenticeships that have started in 2014/2015. It was inspiring to meet Liam, James, Amber and Richard - exemplary apprentices.”

Mary Macleod MP said:

“More than 2,400 apprentices have been hired in my constituency since I was elected – part of the 2 million new apprentices created under this Government. I join the Work and Pensions Secretary in praising their hard work, especially at Mace.

As local people know, there is a lot of construction taking place all across West London. As more construction deals are done, both commercial and residential, I am urging other construction companies to mirror the approach Mace has taken to local employment and apprenticeships. Sky showed real leadership by asking them to specify this within the bidding process. I will be urging all local developments to increase their number of construction apprenticeships and to include the request into the bidding process.”