Companies have been urged to offer more apprenticeships to youngsters seeking work in the construction industry after new research showed a severe shortage of job vacancies.

There are now five applicants for every vacancy in the industry in England, according to the study by ConstructionSkills, the skills council for the building sector.

More than 12,000 candidates have applied for a job this year but only 2,400 vacancies have been offered by employers, said the report.

Max Hamps, director of apprentices for ConstructionSkills, said: “There are hundreds of thousands of construction firms in England but only a fraction of these are taking on apprentices. The small businesses that thrive from generation to generation are those that appreciate the value of training and bringing young people into the business from day one.

Financial Times