UK:  BESA Training says it has over 600 potential building services apprentices looking for work.

The training arm of the Building Engineering Services Association says it has already filled hundreds of vacancies this year across the UK but still has an ever increasing number of good quality candidates – 600 as of June 2018 – who are all proactively looking for work.

“We’re talking about pipework and ductwork installers, service and maintenance engineers, ventilation hygiene technicians, design and project managers, rather than domestic plumbers or electricians”, said BESA Training director Tony Howard.

While the industry is desperate to attract young people and 70% of employers believe their productivity improves by taking on apprentices, the uptake of apprentices is still too low.

“Unfortunately we tend to see a trend of employers poaching other employees from fellow businesses within the building services sector,” said Tony Howard. “Frankly there is just no need for this when the research shows there are hundreds of willing people out there who would snap their hand off for the opportunity. Why diminish our talent pool? We should be encouraging more people and skills into our sector, as we do great things that a lot of people are unaware of and take for granted.”

BESA Training says it is in everyone’s interest to secure the next generation of building services engineers and support the future growth of the sector.

All the applicants are selected by BESA Training and put them through a rigorous assessment to ensure employers are signing up a high calibre of apprentices. Working across the the UK, it provides support for both employer and apprentice throughout the apprenticeship programme.

While feedback from the industry suggests that employers are still struggling to get to grips with the apprenticeship levy and funding, BESA Training says it can work with businesses to ensure they get the funding needed. It also points out that larger employers can now transfer levy funds to smaller businesses within the sector, which again BESA Training can help with.

BESA Training