Aggregate Industries Contracting has welcomed recent figures showing apprentices regularly earn more than many university graduates, revealing it has never been a better time to undertake a trade apprenticeship in the road construction industry.
According to latest research by the Federation of Master Builders, construction apprentices will go on to earn thousands of pounds more, per annum, than many of their university-educated counterparts.
Site managers, plant operatives and commercial staff represent some of the most lucrative construction trades, often earning over £40,000 a year; which is a lot higher than the average annual graduate salary of £32,000.
Now the highways contracting division of apprenticeship-championing Aggregate is hoping the figures will tempt more people into the road construction sector.
As with the wider construction industry, contracting is having to cope with an escalating skills shortage; with Brexit and an ageing population set to make matters worse, a recent Highways UK study suggests an additional 12,000 workers are needed across the Strategic Road Network in the next four years to deliver the government’s ambitious infrastructure targets.
Paddy Murphy, MD of Contracting Services at Aggregate Industries, talked about the positives of taking an apprenticeship over doing a University degree.
“With students in England graduating with average debts of around £50,000 while earning just over £32,000 a year, it seems that in many cases trades are beating grades when it comes to earning potential,” he said.
“As such, it has never been a more lucrative time for young people to learn a trade and look at an apprenticeship as a viable alternative to university.
“Amid the government’s recent pledge to invest more than £5bn in improving motorways, major A-roads, and local roads across the country, essential to delivering this is ensuring we have a highly-skilled and trained workforce; presenting apprentices with a myriad of employment opportunities in the construction sector.
“Following the increasing adoption of the latest innovative technology and techniques, a career in road construction is not the same as it was 20 years ago.
“From helping to transform the M1 into a Smart Motorway to re-aligning carriageways to alleviate congestion, today’s roles are not only fast-paced and challenging but also offer high quality on-the-job training on some of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects.”
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