Ministers have today announced that they want the construction industry to focus efforts on attracting, developing and retaining home grown talent into the industry and remove barriers currently preventing more young people from entering the sector.
This involves looking at how companies recruit and train, but also at how adopting modern technologies and methods could help to keep our sector interesting, up-to-date and attractive to the next generation of budding construction professionals.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis and Skills Minister Nick Boles have stressed that they want the construction industry to re-evaluate their current business models to see if there is enough attention being paid to recruitment. The ministers suggested that businesses should also consider other methods of construction – such as offsite manufacturing – to help diversify the industry.
The Construction Leadership Council has been called upon to review what skills the construction industry need to provide enough homes to meet national demand and tackle the housing crisis effectively.
The Council has asked Mark Farmer, of real estate and construction consultancy Cast, to identify actions that will help bring more workers to the industry.
Views are being sought on how to best train a workforce which has a high level of self-employment and bring about greater use of off-site construction. The review will also look at how the industry can introduce measures that encourage more investment and new ways of working.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said “The number of new homes is up 25% in the last year – and this is further proof we’ve got the country building again and delivering the homes the nation wants.”
“This means thousands of jobs are now up for grabs and we’re determined to make sure that there are enough skilled workers to get the job done.”
“Construction offers an exciting and rewarding career and we need to build a new generation of home grown talented, ambitious and highly skilled construction workers.”
Skills Minister Nick Boles commented “The government is committed to getting Britain building. We are investing in measures to cut red tape and increase the number of young people doing apprenticeships and traineeships to ensure we have a pipeline of skilled workers.”
“As leaders in the industry, the Council is best placed to advise on how to boost productivity in the sector and build the houses and infrastructure our nation needs.”
Mark Farmer, chief executive officer at Cast, added “I’m delighted to be asked to lead this review. The construction industry’s skills shortfall has been growing progressively and its ageing workforce now means affirmative action needs to be taken to avoid more acute issues in the future.”
“A healthy and robust construction sector is vital to underpinning the government’s commitment to delivering critical new housing and infrastructure projects. It will also ensure the unrivalled economic multiplier effect related to construction activity continues to play its part within the wider UK economy.”
“The industry needs to seize the opportunity to celebrate the vital contribution it makes and, in partnership with government and other key stakeholders, ensure it overcomes the current barriers to fulfilling its potential.”