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Kenilworth, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, 2008/03/06 - Following the release of the Construction Skills report on the state of the building industry, The Construction Centre released a statement today about its concern for the skills shortage.
Following the release of the Construction Skills report on the state of the building industry, The Construction Centre released a statement today about its concern for the skills shortage.
The UK building industry is predicted to need over 80,000 new workers each year between now and 2011. The type of jobs needed range from electricians and plumbers to civil and mechanical engineers. The Construction Centre commented that this short fall would put a massive strain on the industry and with projects such as the 2012 Olympics creating concentrated areas of work; the industry could face a skills crisis.
Many training providers throughout the country have indicated that the output of new apprentices each year is no where near the numbers quoted by the Construction Skills agency. The Construction Centre urged employers to consider investing more time and energy into apprenticeship schemes but recognised that the government needed to further promote and encourage employers to do so.
Sir Michael Latham, Chairman of the Construction Skills Network said “We’ve identified the scale of skills needs by project and region over coming years. Now it is essential that we work with employers and training providers to put in place the right practical, onsite training that will help local people get the skills they need to fill local job vacancies”.
The Construction Centre commented that the ideal of driving skills training to areas where unemployment is high was commendable but the practicalities of encouraging people to actually get to work and train would be much harder. Areas where big projects are scheduled to take place such as the transport network in Scotland, the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street and the Olympic Park would serve to generate employment but would also serve to starve other areas from skilled workers who might be needed.
Richard Simmons, Managing Director at The Construction Centre stated “To only be putting these plans in place now is ludicrous as we already have a skills shortage. Projects like these will only serve to create pockets where contractors will have to either pay more or employ workers from Europe, which in itself causes complications in terms of communication and protocols such as health and safety.”
He continued “All building industry companies pay millions of pounds to the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) levy to ensure the promotion of ongoing skills training however, judging by the figures released last week it doesn’t seem to be working. Is it time to review this policy and work on developing the future of UK construction careers in another way?”
The Construction Centre.co.uk applauded the actions and strategies which have been announced but was concerned that the action being taken would not stop the looming crisis in supply and demand for building industry workers over the next 3 years. It reiterated its commitment to promoting careers in the industry through its website and said more needed to be done in re-educating employers and potential employees about the benefits of working in construction.
The Construction Centre: Number 1 for delivering results on products and people
Targeted at consumers and the building industry, The Construction Centre (theconstructioncentre.co.uk) has the largest online directory containing over 13,000 UK product manufacturers and suppliers with over 97,000 product search terms. Additionally there are over 50,000 contact details for merchants, industry professionals, tradesmen and contractors. Local Authority planning websites, trade publications and jobs can also be directly accessed from The Construction Centre.
Based in Warwickshire The Construction Centre is part of the UK250 Ltd group.