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State of construction sector skills published

7 November 2018

Friday, 2nd of November, Construction businesses from across the SEMLEP area gathered at Central Bedfordshire College’s Engineering and Construction Skills Centre in Leighton Buzzard to discover the findings of the CITB South East Midlands state of the construction sector - labour market research report. Read the full report here.

To help tackle some of the key skills challenges identified by the sector, Nathan Wilkins, CITB Local Manager confirmed details of an open call for £5m funding available to businesses to reduce the skills shortages. This funding is available to the best place organisation, but specifically focuses on work to attract new people into the sector including young people who are not currently in employment, education or training, longer-term unemployed, full-time construction students, service leavers and women.  

CITB’s Strategic Analyst, Marcus Bennett, set out the evidence in the report including:

  • There is a pipeline of 846 construction projects within the South East Midlands, with 132 of those projects recorded as ‘significant’ accounting for 86% of the total pipeline value.
  • The top three jobs in peak demand within the known pipeline include: non-construction professional, tech, IT & office; wood trades and interior fit-out; electrical trades and installation.
  • Looking to the future there is a  skills gap risk of professional scaffolders, painters and decorators, non-construction operatives, roofers and glaziers.
  • The majority of training (85%) is delivered by local Further Education colleges.

Employer and Skills Manager at SEMLEP, Paul Thompson confirmed that the report chimed with challenges identified for the sector in the Growing People skills plan and SEMLEP’s 2017 business survey.  The number of apprentices in construction is growing and, in the three quarters of the 2018 academic year numbers are greater than for the whole 2017 year.   

During the event, delegates also discussed the image and perception of working in the construction industry and what we should do to tackle this as well as challenges in education and access to finance. These areas will be taken forward in future employer-led workshops.

The CITB report was part funded by Luton Borough Council. 

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