The modern slavery act being applied from the 1st April, is of particular relevance to construction. Planning and Building Control have written an article saying that the ‘National Crime Agency has pinpointed the construction sector as the sixth most prevalent for labour exploitation’ going on to emphasise that this is not only damaging for those individuals concerned but also for the industry’s image as a whole.
The NBS has written a compelling article on the skills shortage and illegal workers. Saying “addressing the skill shortage, as well as getting a handle on illegal hires and slavery in the supply chains, requires a step-change not only in the way we think as an industry, but the way we are viewed by those outside of the industry.”
This comes as the Considerate Construction Scheme, which took its first registration in 1999, has reached over 90,000 registrations.
So how do we raise the profile of construction as an exciting and viable career path?
At the end of March the Government Construction Strategy 2016 – 20 was released with one of its objectives to support the delivery of 20,000 apprenticeships. Luxury home developer Mount Anvil has launched its own skills academy, backed by Minister Brandon Lewis. The scheme will provide around 100 apprenticeships, work placements and work experience opportunities for young people in London.
And to bolster recruitment into the sector another new website is launched, Nationaltradesmen.co.uk which aims to bring together construction firms with skilled tradesmen.
The CITB has committed more than £2.7m from its structured fund for the HBF’s Home Building Skills Partnership.
The CITB are also providing £7.5 million in targeted project funding, to address the skills gap. In Wales a £6.5m investment is expected to create a new kind of construction training for 1,100 people per year in the creation of a Construction Wales Innovation Centre. And in London, in partnership with Lambeth College, the Nine Elms Skills Centre will be home to the Construction Skills Academy, where the future talent of the building sector will be able to learn their trade.
Open Doors Get into Construction is a week-long nationwide initiative organized by CITB and Build UK, to provide exclusive, behind-the-scenes events at some of the UK’s best building sites.
There is a wealth of activity going on to raise the profile of construction as an exciting and viable career path. Are you involved in an initiative that is making a difference? Or have you ideas of how we can improve the image of construction?