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How Britain can fix the labour skills gap

  • 18 Dec 2014

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Following the publication of a report by Manpower, a news story broke recently about the shortfall of skilled workers within the UK construction industry. One of the main issues reported was the fact some British companies are having to hire Portuguese bricklayers to meet demand, paying them wages of up to £200 a day – twice the average rate.

Manpower specialise in employment issues, including within the construction industry. So, it is fair to say that the information provided it is reliable and reflective of current trends.

It seems that following the recent financial crisis, there was a drop off in key skill provision and training in the construction sector. The effects of which are now being felt across the UK.

With the Manpower report predicting large increases in employment opportunities in 2015, this could be a potential problem for the construction industry.

Construction jobs to rise by 9%

Employment prospects in construction are expected to rise by around 9% in 2015. This follows a bumper year in 2014, which saw the highest level of job creation in forty years in the UK, exceeding even pre-recession levels. Other areas related to construction, such as the UK energy sector are expected to experience even greater demand. 

However, there is now a concerted effort within the industry to increase training and skill acquisition so that British workers can take advantage of these opportunities. Able Skills is a specialist in construction training offering a variety of bricklaying courses, including City & Guilds, CITB and DIY qualifications. They offer introductory courses for complete beginners, as well as a range of more advanced courses for people looking to build on existing skills. For those who have more than five years’ experience working in the industry but lack official qualifications, there are NVQ level 2 and 3, as well as CSCS Cards options.

The courses are provided with available accommodation on site, as well as interest free payment and finance options available to help spread the cost of training. Able Skills also offer advanced learning loans for 24-year-olds and over. So, if you’re studying at Level 3, Level 4 or higher you can apply for a loan to meet your course fees. It’s a good example of the kind of facilities needed to meet demand. 

Essentially, the upturn in market fortunes within construction should be positive news. This current shortfall is only a temporary state of affairs with new, skilled workers being trained all the time. It seems only fair that British workers should be given the chance to benefit from this situation before the industry turns to other options. Through greater investment in skill provision, this could happen sooner than expected.

Able Skills

Able Skills on how Britain can fix the labour skill gap

Able Skills are accredited training providers delivering construction qualification training from City & Guilds, Construction Awards Alliance, EAL, CITB for gas training and assessment and NICEI and BPEC for Renewable Technologies..

Able Skills have dedicated training centres for each of our construction areas. Able Skills encourage progression and support everyone who is looking to gain extra skills or qualifications in the construction industry.

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