A new apprenticeship scholarship programme has launched to give two construction firms the chance to benefit from the placement of an apprentice who will be completely funded to work for them for 12 months.

The initiative is being launched by the UK’s leading construction audit, contract and payroll provider, Hudson Contract, to celebrate its 20th anniversary and also provide opportunities to two young apprentices hoping to take their first steps on the construction career ladder.

Hudson Contract will sponsor the apprentices by covering their salaries for up to a year, firms can be in with a chance of gaining one of the apprentices by visiting http://www.hudsoncontract.co.uk/scholarship/ and describing in up to 100 words how an apprentice can benefit their company.

With the scholarship scheme designed to help support the future of the construction industry, recent government figures reveal that there has been year-on-year growth in apprentice starts across England. There was a record 18,290* construction apprenticeship programme starts in 2014/2015 compared to 15,890 in the previous year.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, commented: ‘Having worked in the construction industry for 20 years, we’re a business that is passionate about investing in apprenticeships.

‘The building trade is one of the biggest apprenticeship employers, and with a serious skills shortage impacting the sector we really wanted to give something back to construction firms of all shapes and sizes. Hopefully it can also provide the perfect platform for two apprentices to kick-start their careers.’

The new scholarships coincide with Hudson Contract’s ongoing apprentice support. Through its successful Apprenticeship Scheme, the company has now part-funded over 70 apprentices since 2011.

Ian Anfield added: ‘The scheme was put in place after discovering construction students were struggling to find companies willing to take on apprentices, particularly small firms that couldn’t afford to do so. We’re now building on this heritage of supporting apprentices by completely removing the financial headache for two more firms through our 20th anniversary scholarship programme.’

The winning apprentices will be starting their scholarship in Autumn 2016, and will be producing a video diary of their experiences throughout the year.