Outlining the Conservative government’s plans for the coming parliamentary term, the Queen revealed ambitious targets during her speech last week, including the construction of 200,000 starter homes over the next five years in addition to creating 3 million new apprenticeships.
Whilst many construction industry commentators have welcomed the renewed focus these plans will bring to the industry, others – including the Federation of Master Builders – have warned that the targets are inextricably linked.
It is argued that without meeting the apprenticeships target, the industry will not have the capacity to deliver such a high volume of housing construction.
UK Construction Week – taking place between the 6-11 October – will highlight the issue by placing a strong focus on training and development at the exhibition.
The main seminar stage will host several skills-based training sessions, whilst the Homebuilding and Site Zones, at the Build Show, will explore the relationship between apprenticeships and house building.
The Homebuilding theatre will begin the debate with a keynote discussion asking how the industry can improve traditional skills training to overcome shortages.
Led by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and joined by Andy George, Head of Talent Management at Barratt Developments and Seb Balcombe, Planning Manager at K10, the discussion will examine how builders can work more closely with the education sector to recruit entry level candidates – in addition to exploring the impact of alternative solutions such as off-site construction.
Andy George will lead another session looking at best practice approaches to apprenticeships in housing.
In the Build Show’s Site Zone, CITB will present a masterclass demonstrating how apprenticeships can help support small enterprises. The session will look into how to start the process, designing an effective programme, choosing the right apprentices and understanding the various schemes, funding and grants available.
Nathan Garnett, Show Director, commented: Apprenticeships will be absolutely critical to achieving the government’s ambitious starter home targets over the next few years but this is not just an issue for the house building industry. Finding skilled labour is a struggle faced by the whole construction industry right now, but many people are unsure how to go about dealing with the issue.
We hope that by providing a platform in which to debate the problem, share solutions and identify best practice, will go a long way to helping visitors and exhibitors start to overcome this challenge.
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