ESTHER McVey today calls on pupils getting their GCSE results to become brickies — as she trumpets their average salaries topping £42,000 a year.
In a bid to boost Britain’s capacity to build “homes for the future”, the Housing Minister urged school leavers to go down the construction route.
Ms McVey said: “If you want to master a trade, financial stability and opportunities across the country, you can’t go wrong with the construction sector.”
She added: “I’m determined to get Britain building the homes we need, and my message to school leavers is: your country needs you, to get Britain building again.”
Her remarks echo a report by the Federation of Master Builders which shows the highest-paid bricklayers in London earned £90,000 a year.
The latest figures show the average earning for brick layers has eclipsed £42,000- way above the national average salary of around £29,000.
It puts them on level with a recent university graduate pharmacist but more than a newly qualified dentist and architecture.
Industry insiders say pupils receiving their GCSEs will be sought after by construction firms, which have called for more skilled workers.
Brian Berry, FMB chief exec, said: “The construction industry is in the midst of an acute skills crisis and we are in dire need of more young people, including women and ethnic minorities.”
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Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at the Home Builders Federation said: “Home building is much more than just building houses, it’s an industry that will challenge and support individuals to achieve their ambitions. It is also an industry that is vital to the nation’s economy and more importantly people’s lives.
He went on to say: “With many different entry routes into careers, from apprenticeships to graduate training programmes, school leavers can expect first class training and the opportunity to gain industry leading qualifications that will set them up for life.”
Teenagers across the country will be deciding their plans for the future as the new GCSEs were dubbed the biggest shake-up of exams in England for a generation.
'Stress' of shake-up
TOUGH new GCSEs are “demoralising” for lower-achieving students, headteachers have warned.
Eight in 10 school leaders believe reformed courses are having a detrimental effect on struggling kids, an Association of School and College Leaders survey found.
And 79 per cent said they are causing higher levels of student stress.
GCSEs were toughened up in a major shake-up.
The Department for Education said: “We trust schools to work with parents and support young people so they do their best.”
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