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Building apprentices up

The number of new construction apprentices rose by 660 last year, according to new figures.

The big increases were in electrical, carpentry and plumbing apprenticeships. The number of new electrical apprentices grew by 62pc, while carpentry apprenticeships rose by 87pc.

"The industry will need to see that increase continue in 2015 and beyond if we are to meet the expected demand for construction activity in the coming years," Construction Industry Federation chief Tom Parlon (inset) said.