Majority of young people in Cardiff would now consider applying for an apprenticeship scheme

Tanveer Ahmed - Plumbing apprentice at Redrow Homes South Wales

  • However, just 22% of young people in the Welsh capital are receiving high-quality careers advice at school
  • Young people based in London and the North East of England are significantly more likely to have discussed a career in construction at school than in Wales
  • 28% of 16-21-year-olds in Cardiff believe a career in this sector is a possibility, 2% more than the UK average
  • 59% of Redrow apprentices believe there is no stigma associated with their role as a housebuilding apprentice – the highest number since the survey began

Leading UK housebuilder Redrow has launched its annual report on perceptions of apprenticeships and careers in construction. It reveals that most young people would now consider applying for an apprenticeship, and the majority of parents have discussed an apprenticeship role with their child.

The results reveal that, although misconceptions about construction roles remain, they are improving. Fewer young people (44%) and parents (48%) now believe a career in construction is dominated by men, compared with previous years, a trend also seen in those living in the Welsh capital. This year, the majority (68%) of young people stated that they would consider applying for an apprenticeship scheme or are already partaking in one. This majority is even greater in Wales, with three out of four young people considering or already taking part in a scheme.

Perceptions have also changed amongst Redrow’s apprentices. This year, 59% believe that there is no stigma associated with being an apprentice. This is the highest proportion in four years – and 21 percentage points higher than in 2018. However, across the UK the number of young people considering a career in construction is at its worst for four years (48%), due to inadequate advice offered in schools and parent’s misconceptions, which then inform careers-focused discussions with their children.

Careers advice at school

Overall, young people in Cardiff are receiving inadequate advice in the classroom. When asked, only 22% stated that they had received high-quality information and advice on a wide range of careers at school and feel well-guided and, this year, more young people than ever before said that the advice they received was either non-existent or entirely not useful (22%).

On top of this lack of adequate educational guidance, statistics from South Wales show nearly a third (28%) of those asked in Cardiff believe the removal of the requirement for a Math and/or English qualification would encourage more young people to pursue this career pathway.

 

Parental influence

Parents are the number one influence on their child’s early career decisions, but they are still lacking the appropriate knowledge to provide careers advice. When asked, 60% of parents stated that they had never discussed the prospect of undertaking a career in construction with their child. This is 12 percentage points higher than last year (48%). Despite this, a third of young people in Cardiff (33%) think their parents would see a career in construction as a good opportunity for them.

When it comes to apprenticeships in general, parents are, in many cases, happy to support their child. A significant proportion (70%) stated that they have discussed the prospect of undertaking an apprenticeship with their child – this rises to 77% in London, and 76% in Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

A perfect example of the positive perception of apprenticeships in parents can be found in that of Redrow plumbing apprentice, Tanveer Ahmed.

Case study: Tanveer Ahmed

The 35-year-old from Cardiff joined Redrow Homes in September 2019 to complete an apprenticeship in plumbing in the South Wales region and provide a better life for his young family.

Commenting on his apprenticeship, Tanveer said: “The whole team here is lovely and has been really helpful in teaching me new skills. I am a quick learner and keen to impress; I hope this is just the start of my career in plumbing. Redrow is a huge company and there are a lot of great opportunities here. The company is known to look after its staff, which I have experienced first-hand, and I am really happy to be working here.”

As well as learning a new trade and getting valuable experience, Tanveer is also completing these qualifications to help support his young wife and two children – his daughter is 12, whilst his son is seven.

Currently based at a new Redrow site in Llanwern, Newport, the apprenticeship also sees Tanveer supports Redrow at developments in Radyr and Lisvane, Cardiff.

Nigel Palmer, managing director of Redrow South Wales, commented, “We appreciate that there are ongoing difficulties attracting apprentices into construction, though Tanveer proves that Redrow can offer opportunities for people at any age looking for a career in this sector. There is currently some uncertainty surrounding access to skilled labour from the EU, but we believe that despite this, building in Britain will ramp up in 2020.

“We have some exciting developments coming in the next few years in South Wales and the apprentices we have this year are getting to work at the forefront of these projects, with our apprenticeship scheme a fantastic way of getting young talent into the sector. ”

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