The skills shortage that our industry is already suffering from (and which – from recent press coverage – is seemingly only going to get worse) is at the fore of many debates and events that will be filling our calendars.
With a growing population our housing stock needs increasing and our infrastructure needs improving, but we’re struggling for the resource to think about it, design it and then ultimately build it.
So we clearly have an issue as an industry, a burning platform that requires change, but are we doing enough?
Or is the more pertinent question why aren’t we as an industry all doing something together?
There are so many great things going on to attract more people in the industry, but it sometimes feels like we’ve got too much going on.
Typically of the disparate nature of construction we’re all in our own way making a difference, but the whole as is often the case much greater and compelling than the parts.
CIOB’s ‘No More Lost Generation’ report talks about the requirement for a step change in careers advice to make it more engaging. I think this is something too often overlooked when we discuss the skills shortage, and overlooked when we discuss how to bring young people into the industry. With around 1/3 of careers advisors advising against construction the potential talent pool becomes much smaller very quickly.
We, as an industry, need to come together and be part of a conscious effort to make parents, teachers and careers advisors aware of the excellent opportunities in the industry. The Common Gateway that will be rolled out later this year is a big step forward but the industry needs to rally behind it and use it to its full potential.
Like the Army have over the last few years we must change our image and make sure that the next generation see the industry as the industry of choice and that their parents are proud of being able to say that their children add value to the built environment.
Lets not forget, we’re a great industry, we pay well (mostly!), we’re an industry where lifelong friendships are forged, we innovate and explore new ways of doing things, and we offer new challenges throughout a persons career with great opportunities to learn and progress around every corner. Why wouldn’t a young person want to come work in construction???
On 1st July Invennt’s director Tim Fitch will be speaking at an event on the skills shortage at Smith & Williamson’s offices in Moorgate. If you’re interested in joining the skills debate please come along – register your interest here: http://goo.gl/nbsKgQ.