The CEO of the Construction Industry Training Board has issued a call for the construction sector to attract fresh talent into its ranks.
Addressing construction firms, SMEs, Government officials and training organisations at the Construction Industry Summit, Adrian Belton examined the scale of the skills crisis facing the sector. He outlined how CITB is working hard to secure the future of the industry by drawing up a comprehensive picture of the most in-demand skills and by tailoring training to employers’ needs.
The final day of the two-day London summit focused on the talented people who make up the sector and how they can help to transform the industry over the next 10 years. It is part of efforts to meet the objectives in Construction 2025, a joint strategy by the industry and Government aimed at helping British construction establish itself as one of the top players on the world stage.
Only by working together with the Government and training providers can construction employers hope to overcome the challenges they face, Mr Belton urged. While steps are being taken to tackle the issues at hand, Mr Belton said there are a number of reasons why solutions have not yet been identified. These include a lack of information on skills needs and where the shortage of talent is having the biggest impact, while recruiting for jobs rather than careers has allowed the best workers to drift away.
CITB is working on helping education establishments better understand the skills need for the industry. With more than 220,000 construction jobs set to be created over the next five years, it will be essential to bring more young people into the sector, as well as finding ways to retain existing talent.
“There are several things that CITB is doing in order to meet these challenges. We have restructured our funding to meet industry’s skills needs – with new, more responsive funding schemes.
"Later this month will see the launch of construction’s first industry-led career portal to get people into construction ‘a career like no other’. We are also working on a new, industry wide approach to apprenticeships to determine how we can make them more effective and productive than ever been before.”
Apprenticeships will play a crucial part in achieving these objectives, Mr Belton said, but so too will attracting graduates and upskilling those already in building roles or moving across from other sectors. To help industry, CITB will be using information on specialist skills, FE information data and intelligence from training providers to make it easier to match the supply of skills with demand.