A SENIOR director of the family-owned construction giant Seddon has received an MBE for service to apprenticeships and the community.

Christopher Seddon, who was named in the New Year’s Honours list, was presented with the award by Prince William at Buckingham Palace.

After receiving his award, the 72-year-old said: “I’m very honoured and humbled to have received this recognition, and I’d to share it with everyone at Seddon over the years who has contributed to bringing so many young, talented people into the business — and into the construction industry.

“Seddon’s commitment to apprenticeships is in the DNA of the family and the business, and we’re a stronger business because of it.

“Although education and colleges have an important role to play, there’s no substitute to getting people onsite and learning the core skills to do a job properly.

“Hopefully, my personal recognition can be a timely reminder to everyone in the industry that there’s a skills gap that we must all work to fill, and as a business we will continue to make our contribution whilst also lobbying our peers and Government at a national level.”

According to the company, in 2013 alone, Seddon employed almost 50 full-time apprentices and regularly receives 600 applications for each year’s intake, for a variety of roles — from brick layers and joiners to office support.

Although Seddon has welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s recent budget “blueprint” to deliver 200,000 new homes nationally, and extend the Government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme to 2020, it is concerned the a construction “skills gap” could restrict the delivery of new homes across the UK.