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Laing O’Rourke reveals ten-point plan to overcome the UK skills gap

  • 29 Nov 2016

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Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement focused heavily on investment in infrastructure and housing, prompting many in the construction industry to question how these projects would be built, considering the sector’s ongoing skills crisis and Brexit, which looks set to make the situation even more acute.

In a well timed response, Laing O’Rourke has published a 10 point plan to tackle the Britain’s skills shortage in the construction and infrastructure sector.

Laing O’Rourke’s ‘Ten-Point Plan to Overcome the UK’s Construction & Infrastructure Skills Gap’ calls for a joined-up approach by Government, industry and education providers to provide the skilled workforce that our construction industry and economy needs.

A key part of the plan involves the introduction of GCSEs and A-Levels in Design, Engineering and Construction (DEC) in addition to career transitional apprenticeships.

Laing O’Rourke has said it would push for the creation of a single construction and infrastructure skills body and greater collaboration to deliver better careers advice for construction engineering.

The multinational construction firm is also pushing for more Russell Group standard part-time degree apprenticeships, and encouraging the professional development of a directly employed workforce.

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Laing O’Rourke’s human capital director, John O’Connor, commented: “Our plan highlights that there is a worrying skills shortage in the UK construction and engineering sectors and presents a clear series of practical recommendations to help close the skills gap in the design, manufacturing, engineering and construction spaces.”

Read the  ‘Ten-Point Plan to Overcome the UK’s Construction & Infrastructure Skills Gap’ here.

One comment on “Laing O’Rourke reveals ten-point plan to overcome the UK skills gap

  • The trade press in the US have been discussing the problem that British contractors have in bidding for construction and building work that is highlighting the labor issues facing the UK home-building sector.
    They have seen the headline about 25% of contractors not bidding for new work because of skills shortages. More apprentices are one solution and Berkeley Group plans to have 1,500 apprentices by 2018 (15% of its workforce). Barratt Developments believe offsite building or modular housing could be a solution as this, some say, needs less skills though this has been challenged by Persimmon’s CEO Jeff Fairburn who thinks offsite building would need the same skills as on-site building.
    The skills crisis is also putting salary costs up. The latest ONS stats on this says they have risen by 8.6% between April and June.
    Brexit will add to our woes if this makes it more difficult to recruit skilled labour from Europe. According to the latest research from Arcadis, the UK construction industry could lose 214,000 workers if there is a ‘hard’ Brexit.

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