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Strong Competition for Construction Apprenticeships 29 July 2006

Approximately 250 applications were received this year by the Department of Trade and Industry for apprenticeships in Plumbing, Painting & Decorating, Brickwork, Carpentry & Joinery and Electrical Installation. Following a variety of aptitude tests to provide initial guidance on the suitability of applicants, approximately 80 candidates were invited on a 3 week practical assessment course run in conjunction with the Isle of Man College.

During this assessment period, candidates were given the opportunity to experience a range of construction craft areas and their aptitude assessed in each separate area. Applicants were also given a significant element of health and safety training, on which they were tested, prior to the final selection process.

58 of the original applicants were subsequently selected for formal apprenticeships and they will commence their College course in September, after some experience in the industry this summer.

The strong demand for places and the high standard of applicants represent very positive signals for the local construction industry. However, opportunities are limited to a finite number that can be accommodated as craftsmen. The Department consults the industry each year to agree the level of that demand, as it would be pointless to train craftsmen for whom there were no local jobs.

Applicants who were unsuccessful in gaining a full apprenticeship are offered a variety of advice and alternative options. These may include work placement initiatives, with a pattern of attendance at College to improve their key skills.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Alex Downie MLC said, ‘I am most encouraged that many of our very capable young people are now keen to pursue careers as construction craftsmen. The quality of our built environment is important to us all and to the ongoing development of our economy, whether it be new houses, schools, offices or roads. The training of our craftsmen to high standards is extremely important if we are to continue the improvement of the Island’s infrastructure.

I know that many applicants for apprenticeships have been disappointed this year, but DTI Training Services, the College and the Careers Services are all available to offer advice on other training and employment opportunities.’

For further details contact:

Mr Alex Downie, Trade & Industry Minister, phone 682394, email min@dti.gov.im

Mr Steve Woodward, Group Manager – Training & Employment, DTI, phone 682380, email s.woodward@gov.im

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