Travis Perkins
The FTSE 100 firm also said that it is set to hire 138 total apprentices across the group for 2014Reuters

The UK's economic recovery is boosting the construction sector with the result that builders' merchant giant Travis Perkins plans to more than double its apprenticeship numbers in its sales team.

Carol Kavanagh, human resources director at Travis Perkins, told IBTimes UK the largest number of apprenticeships for the employer this year would be in its general merchanting division, with 105 management apprentices recruited for its two-year scheme. That is up from 40 in 2013 and 30 in 2012.

The FTSE 100 firm added that it would hire a total of 138 total apprentices across the group for 2014.

Kavanagh dismissed the suggestion that a housing market bubble would make the firm more cautious around recruitment.

"Whether the housing market goes up or down is not really the important point," she said.

"We believe that fostering skills and training through apprenticeships is not only essential for the industries and trades that we serve but also for our own business.

"Regardless of the housing market, our company and the tradesmen and businesses it serves need to nurture the next generation of talent."

The news came after the Northampton-based company posted strong full-year results.

Revenue lifted by 6.3% to £5bn during 2013 and adjusted profit before tax rose 12.4% to £321m.

"2013 was another good year for Travis Perkins and the momentum in the second half of last year has continued into 2014," said chief executive John Carter.

"The group is well placed to benefit from the upturn in UK building activity and in particular the strength of housing transactions."

The government's efforts to boost housing demand by making mortgages cheaper through the Help to Buy scheme have driven up house prices because of a supply shortage, pushing construction firms to increase the volume of new homes.