New Apprenticeship Standards are a Welcome Boost

Apprenticeship standards in construction are set to increase following the Government’s approval of two new apprenticeships in bricklaying and plastering, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “We feared that the Government’s ambition to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020 would lead to an emphasis on quantity over quality. Today the Government has demonstrated that it really is committed to working with the industry to increase the quality of apprenticeship training by approving these new standards. Research by the FMB shows that two-thirds of construction SMEs believe that the overall quality of construction apprenticeships has decreased during the past 30 years. Furthermore, over 70% of small construction firms would be more likely to train an apprentice if the quality of construction apprenticeship standards were improved. Given that it’s construction SMEs that train two-thirds of all apprentices, the Government is right to back the FMB’s mission to increase the quality of apprenticeships.”

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Cumbrian Footpath

Footpath fund launched to help repair Cumbrian storm damage

Floods minister Rory Stewart has launched a new £3.5m fund to help repair and improve Cumbria’s public rights of way damaged by Storm Desmond in December.

As well as bringing benefits to residents, the Cumbria Countryside Access Fund is also intended to help to attract tourists back to Cumbria.

Individual grants from a minimum of £100,000 are available for landowners or public bodies and will cover reinstating and improving rights of way for rural towns and villages, visitor attractions, long-distance trails and those passing through environmentally sensitive areas such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

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