King’s Lynn apprentice joins launch at Parliament for new campaign to boost construction skills

From left, MP Henry Bellingham, CITB chief executive Adrian Belton, Lovell apprentice Billy Smith and Lovell contracts manager Steven Offord. ANL-151210-135046001
From left, MP Henry Bellingham, CITB chief executive Adrian Belton, Lovell apprentice Billy Smith and Lovell contracts manager Steven Offord. ANL-151210-135046001
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North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham MP has joined forces with housing developer Lovell to back construction apprenticeships.

It is estimated that 220,000 new workers will be needed in the industry in the next five years.

He attended the Construction Industry Training Board’s “I’m Backing Apprenticeships” campaign launch in Parliament to hear from apprentices, employers and the Skills Minister on what can be done to increase the number of businesses and people starting apprenticeships.

Speakers at the campaign launch event included Skills Minister Nick Boles and CITB chairman James Wates. A ComRes survey revealed that 80 per cent of MPs agree that full employment cannot be achieved without apprenticeships, while a report by Demos showed that most of the general public (72 per cent) would prefer their children to go to university instead.

Those he met included affordable housing developer Lovell contracts manager Steve Offord and 21-year-old Lovell apprentice plumber Billy Smith.

Billy is learning his trade working on the major estate regeneration programme which Lovell is carrying out for Freebridge Community Housing at Hillington Square in Lynn. Through his apprenticeship, Billy is working towards his NVQ Level 3 qualification while gaining essential industry experience with the Lovell team at Hillington Square. Both Billy and Steve were keen to share their experience of apprenticeships and their own views on what the industry requires in order to continue to thrive.

Mr Bellingham said: “I was very happy to welcome Billy and Steve to Parliament in order to hear more about CITB’s campaign, as well as to find out how apprenticeships have benefited them personally.

“I understand the need for change, for careers advice to better support vocational routes such as apprenticeships and I will be lobbying local schools and colleges to do so. Increasing the number of people entering construction in North West Norfolk is vitally important and I plan to do all I can to ensure my constituents are fully aware of the opportunities an apprenticeship can offer.” Find out more about apprenticeships with Lovell at www.morgansindallgroupcareers.com/lovell