Skill Shortage: Construction 2025

Over the past 6 months, the UK government has been in collaboration with the construction industry and have envisioned a project called ‘Construction 2025.’ It’s set to change construction and how we currently know it -putting Britain at the forefront of the world.

Construction 2025 outlines 4 key principles:

People – to identify and highlight skilled and talented people

Smart – to explore technological advancements

Sustainable – to introduce greener ways of construction

Leadership – A construction Leadership Council to take expertise from

Currently, the construction industry accounts for 10% of employment and it’s been identified that in most cases there are hardly any training, incomplete training or just a general skill shortage. The UK Government has pledged to change the construction workforce in a number of ways one of them being: improving the image of the industry by inspiring young people.

They believe that the lack of attraction towards the industry is down to lack of gender diversity, low pay and job security.

Plans are underway to reach the younger generations to make them understand how vital and rewarding construction is. So far they’ve identified that young people from ages of 11 -12 (before GCSE’s options are chosen) need to be educated about construction and this education needs to be applied continually right up to further education. They are also encouraging STEMNET which helps young people and businesses work together on topics of the future such as: science, technology, engineering and maths – all very important when it comes to construction.

Furthermore there are other initiatives aimed at those who want to or who are currently working in construction to better their knowledge. Projects such ‘Open Doors’ and ‘Design, Engineer and Construct’ which the government are pushing and raising awareness of but is it enough?

A fifth of all vacancies are classed as ‘hard to fill’ and 86% of all employers wouldn’t take on an apprentice in the next 12 months. The general consensus seems to be that current system is just too confusing for most business; with a myriad of qualifications, training options and funding procedures it tends to overwhelm many businesses looking for new skilled staff.

One of the over –all aims of Construction 2025 was to simplify the hiring process for many companies and help them to pick talented and skills tradesmen and woman. The following are a good example of how this is currently being done:

  • CITB work with large contractors and their supply chains utilising the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot to address their skill requirements.
  • The Green Skills Alliance is groups of sector skills council who provide and guidance across the green sector for employers and workers on a national basis.
  • The Engineering and Psychics Science Research Council who are turning out highly skilled leaders.

The Government and industry have announced that they will work with skills bodies to address the capacity issues and ensure that the bar is raised in a ‘strategic manner.’ It will be interesting to see how this develops further!

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