UKIP East Londonderry Assembly candidate, Steven Parkhill has welcomed recent research predicting solid growth in the construction sector in the next five years.
Mr. Parkhill said:
“Recent findings of research carried out by CITB estimating construction output in Northern Ireland to have an annual average growth of 3% over the next five years, higher than the UK rate of 2.5%, is particularly welcoming news.
“The construction sector has had a tough time in recent years, and it is encouraging to see that the sector has returned to growth in 2015, I hope this growth continues long into the foreseeable future. However while the construction sector is growing again, it is worrying that In terms of investment, the funding for the off the job training element of the Apprenticeships NI programme has fallen dramatically since 2011. With approximately 4,000 less apprentices today than there was 5 years ago.
“This highlights further the inability of the parties of old when it comes to delivering for the people where it really matters and creating a brighter future for the next generation.
“Apprenticeships can provide an excellent opportunity by which apprentices can obtain the technical and employability skills they require, and employers can be assured that there is a strong skills base across the economy, apprenticeships can make real sensible business sense, boosting profits and productivity. Training and development of our workforce is essential.
“It’s about time the Executive parties ended this current regress and decline of Apprenticeships, and they began to invest more pro-actively in education programmes such as Apprenticeships NI. Underfunding education is a failure to invest in our economy, and represents an abhorrent failure to invest in future generations of people.”