The Midlands Construction Summit has announced its return for 2016. Set to take place at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena this September, the event will discuss the construction skills shortage, its effects and how to tackle it.
The Summit will be based around three interconnected themes: Image, Skills and Productivity.
In recent times, the construction industry has been acutely affected by the skills shortage; it has become a major issue, which is predicted to continue for some time. The Midlands Construction Summit hopes to inspire industry leaders to deliberate and discuss the reasons behind this enduring crisis.
Three causes have been recurrently recognised: the first is a negative industry perception, which obstructs the recruitment of a skilled labour force and leads to reductions in productivity.
Deficiency in industry training has been viewed as a barrier to tacking this. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has argued that a long-term training programme, carefully designed to engage with young students and highlight the wealth of opportunities within the construction sector, could provide a solution to the skills shortage.
Attracting more women to the industry is also important. With UCATT reporting that women comprise a meagre 11% of the construction workforce – with only 1% of these working onsite – gender is a predominant image issue facing the sector.
Whilst women in construction have commented on a lack of promotion prospects, isolation within the workplace and lower pay than their male counterparts, mass redundancies are also considered a key factor: many are simply unwilling to return to construction.
These themes serve to paint a poor image of the construction industry, contributing to the skills shortage: the young and upcoming generation are seeking securer and more appealing career prospects as an alternative.
Poor productivity ensues, as the industry is lacking the staff and resources to keep up with demand.
At the Midlands Construction Summit, which will be held alongside the Midlands Construction Expo, these issues will be addressed. Professionals will convene to explore how the industry can approach, and potentially resolve, these problems.
The Midlands Construction Summit will be held in 20 September 2016 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.
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