According to the BMF, the package of support will provide a boost to the BMF Apprenticeship Pledge, launched last year with an ambitious target to create 15,000 new roles in the building materials industry by 2030.

The government announcement includes fully funded training for people under the age of 21, as well as doubling the amount of unused apprenticeship levy funding that SMEs can transfer to other businesses from 25% to 50%.

“The announcement is a great step forward for an industry that needs to plug a significant skills gap and address ongoing challenges stemming from an ageing workforce,” said John Newcomb, BMF CEO.

“Around 70% of merchants in BMF membership have a turnover of less than £12.5m, and the reforms will mean that larger levy paying organisations will be able to transfer up to 50% of their unused apprenticeship levy funding to these SME's. 

“Apprenticeships are a key route for the development of new talent in our sector. Since launching the BMF Apprenticeship Pledge, 11,464 new apprenticeships places have already been pledged by 22 member companies, and we are confident of reaching our target of 15,000.

“The government’s buzz around apprenticeships also aligns with the major sector awareness programme the BMF will launch later this year. This will encourage talented people of all ages and from all walks of life to find out how our industry makes a difference to our homes and the built environment around us and discover which of the many and varied careers available would be right for them.”