Educational foundation Edge said it was “astonished” at the low number of awards entries, currently only at a third of last year’s levels, and that £300,000 of prize money for training could remain undistributed.

“Employers in the construction industry are missing out on a great opportunity,” said Edge chief executive Andy Powell. “It only takes 10 minutes to apply and it could release up to £50,000 for your organsiation.”

Employers’ reasons for not entering include “I don’t want a trophy to stick on my shelf”, “I haven’t got time” and “I wouldn’t be able to stick to the 250 word limit”.

The awards highlight organisations which provide outstanding workplace learning opportunities for 14- to 25-year-olds and will reward individuals for their practical learning achievements.

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