LET’S TRAIN TO GAIN – OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP BRIDGE THE SKILLS GAP

March 26, 2018 4:32 pm | Thought provoking blogs |

(c) Unitrunk

In a constantly changing industry, driven by updates to legislation and improved methods of construction and building processes, the pressures to stay on top and keep up with production demands are even more apparent . Housebuilder, BerkeleyHomes’ most recent announcement that production can’t rise above existing levels only demonstrates there is a severe problem with supply and demand. Coupled with the current #skillsshortage – considered at “critical levels” according to research by the British Chamber of Commerce – construction firms are finding it harder than ever to recruit skilled workers.

(c) Unitrunk

We have seen #BIM (Building Information Modelling) impose a steep learning curve on the industry, and even now, ambiguity still surrounds its success and the best way to adopt the system. All the while we continue to introduce more efficient and lean manufacturing techniques, building contractors will be at risk of being left behind if they don’t ensure their workforce are working to the most advanced methods, above and beyond industry standards. The #HackittReview ordered after the #GrenfellTowerFire has prompted even further diligence surrounding safety standards and competence.

In my view, there are two successful routes to take when it comes to building on our current workforce and attracting fresh talent into the industry. The first is through dedicated training and courses, which gives students a recognised qualification to move forward with their career.

Proline Apprentice Mai Pierre-White (c) Proline

Thankfully, there are construction firms out there who are identifying the importance of pushing new generations through the education system, and in a refreshing article published earlier this month on The Construction Index we’ve learnt that building contractor #ISG has set up a new education partnership to provide young people with the equivalent of an A-Level in construction.

The course, offered as a partnership between ISG and the Welsh Joint Education Committee, sees four modules being rolled out to students: Designing the Built Environment, Creating the Built Environment, Value, and the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) – all are key ingredients for students to gain an understanding of contemporary construction practice.

The value of #Apprenticeship schemes should not be underestimated either. The apprenticeship route into construction can offer so many mutual benefits. In his article recently published on CNPlus, #Proline’s Managing Director, Michael Fraser, speaks from experience having implemented several successful apprenticeships throughout the company’s history.

The building services contractor believes apprentices are integral to a successful business strategy; they grow with the company and they adopt the quality standards as part of their lifelong work ethos. From an apprentice’s standpoint, there are many, many advantages – dedicated mentors, on-the-job training, commercial insight, not to mention a sense of pride and achievement.

It is partnerships like these that provide a great opportunity to bridge the skills gap – and here at Clare PR, we can only hope more firms follow suit. Attracting fresh talent in the form of school leavers and apprentices will undoubtedly boost a future generation of experienced, qualified construction professionals. What with production levels continually under scrutiny by the Government – such as the #BerkeleyHomes housebuilding standoff – let’s raise the profile of educating a prospective workforce and enable everyone to build a better, brighter future.

Skip to toolbar