Radical changes and more diversity to attract young people into construction

  • 23 May 2017

IMG_5103Howard Chapman from Buildingtalk attended a key debate at the House of Lords, organised by CIM’s Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG), to look at how the industry can attract a new generation of talent to meet the chronic skills gap that is holding back opportunities for growth.

Construction – the next generation

The construction is facing a time great opportunities but chronic skill shortages and the poor image of the industry in the jobs market, are holding back recruitment, training and growth.

CIM’s Construction Industry Group (CIMCIG) met yesterday at the House of Lords to address this issue by bringing together key players from the sector to debate, and discuss changes that they can help facilitate to make a serious impact.


Lord Best, former Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The debate was hosted by Lord Best a former Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Lord Best reviewed the issue and spoke about the key role that CIMCIG in improving the image of the industry, not least to encourage gifted young people to seize the new career opportunities in the industry.

Mike Lomax, Marketing Communications Manager at Tarmac, and current CIMCIG Chairman, talked about the need to improve the image of the industry, widening its appeal to make it attractive for young people. He said the industry is notoriously conservative in its approach but must ‘change or die’. For example, to build the houses needed in our nation, we need to follow the example of Berkeley Homes who have doubled apprenticeships.

 Fullscreen capture 23052017 075529

Andy Williamson, MD of the IKO UK Group, talked about how the whole industry needs to understand and promote the value of training. He also challenged everyone in the industry to get involved in attracting a wider cross section of young people. Colleges need to play a more active role too.

Jane Nelson, Group Executive Director at the Mears Group used her own career success as an example of what can be achieved. She began her working life as painting and decorating apprentice and now has to a top job in the industry. She sees a more diverse workforce as one of the keys to the skills crisis and is currently leading a joint project with CITB to facilitate more women into the trades.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has developed specific marketing programmes for the construction industry that also includes student mentoring.

Many believed that construction sector is held back because of its image, usually associated with older men and traditional skills . For example, 45% of people in the industry are older than 45. It has failed to excite the younger generation especially women and failed to promote all the exciting new technologies, such as advances in modular building, that are changing the industry.

Lord Best, in his concluding remarks, called on industry leaders to work together to ensure that we don’t have another lost generation of young people failing to see the opportunities in construction.

Leave a Reply

Latest news

Mitsubshi Electric

Family Day Workshop by Mitsubishi Electric

If you are an architecture or environmental enthusiast, bring your children along to a family day of fun and educational activities at the Building Centre on Saturday 22nd June – Mitsubishi Electric will deliver its award-winning programme, The Learning Curve (with a few twists), designed to teach children about energy use and energy efficiency.

Posted in Articles, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Services, Facility Management & Building Services, Heating Systems, Controls and Management, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC, Pipes & Fittings, Plumbing, Retrofit & Renovation, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency


Keller Kitchens excels in Kiwa assessment

Keller Kitchens has been reassessed by Kiwa, a European institute that is involved in the certification of processes, products, employees and organisations. Once again, the company passed with flying colours!

Posted in Articles, Building Associations & Institutes, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Regulations & Accreditations, Building Services, Interior Design & Construction, Interiors, Kitchens, Research & Materials Testing, Restoration & Refurbishment, Retrofit & Renovation, Sustainability & Energy Efficiency

National Ventilation

National Ventilation’s Operations Director Completes D-Day 44 Challenge

Alan Parkinson, Operations Director at National Ventilation, has completed the D-Day 44 Challenge in aid of Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

Posted in Air Conditioning, Articles, Building Industry Events, Building Industry News, Building Products & Structures, Building Services, Charity work, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - HVAC