CECA steps on Ladder to create more apprenticeships

Feb 7, 2023 | News

Lorraine Gregory, director of CECA
A Midlands business organisation, which represents construction and civil engineering businesses, has joined forces with a region-wide scheme that helps tackle youth unemployment in a bid to address the shortage of labour in the sector.

The Ladder Foundation was created more than a decade ago in London to drive up the number of apprenticeships being offered by employers.

The success of the campaign saw initiatives rolled out into Greater Birmingham, Black Country, Staffordshire, Coventry & Warwickshire and Shropshire.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) Midlands, which supports companies across the sector and provides a voice for the industry, has formed a partnership with Ladder Foundation to help create more apprenticeships in the industry.

It will contribute towards the 10,000 new starters that are needed every year in the Midlands to meet the demand and deliver projects that are earmarked for the region up until 2027.

The sector has seen a rise in the age of its workforce, with it being reported in June 2022 that 23 per cent of employees were over 55 compared with just 10 per cent in 1990.

Lorraine Gregory, director of CECA, has supported calls for the industry to think differently with its approach to recruitment and is delighted to team up with Ladder Foundation to further help tackle the skills shortage in the Midlands.

Speaking at the start of Apprenticeship Week, she said: “Ladder Foundation has done a tremendous amount of important work in helping to encourage employers and schools with their approach to apprenticeships.

Credible broker

“This has led to thousands of jobs being created, with young people gaining employment and allowing construction companies to start solving the problem of ageing workforces.

“Ongoing training is important and that’s something CECA supports our members with, and that will only grow and develop further now we are linked up with Ladder Foundation too.”

The new partnership will build upon the work that is already established in many of CECA’s members, including civil engineering and building contractor McPhillips.

The Telford-based business started an apprenticeship scheme in 1996 and 157 young people have successfully completed the programme and 22 per cent of its current workforce have previously been McPhillips apprentices.

The Ladder Foundation is a credible broker that has a network of providers and an appropriate due diligence process that means it only works with suitable employers, skills providers, schools, colleges and a vast number of partners and stakeholders such as; Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership GBSLEP, WMCA, Birmingham City Council, HS2, NHS, OpenReach, and Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Kevin Davis Chair, of the Ladder Foundation, said: “The Foundation recognises our need for apprentices to be given opportunities in the key sectors of transport, energy, water, waste, and communications.

“I’m so pleased our collaboration with CECA, the authoritative voice for the companies who build, maintain and upgrade the nation’s vital infrastructure, will further provide that Ladder of opportunity for apprentices.”

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