This week saw the first ever TV advertising campaign to recruit workers into the construction industry but it might be too little too late
Timed to coincide with this week’s A level results it represents a somewhat desperate attempt to persuade young people that the industry is worthy of serious consideration. The centrepiece of the campaign is a new scheme called “Positive Image” which is the brainchild of ConstructionSkills, which is the Sector Skills Council for the industry (see Knowledgebase for earlier stories on sector skills councils and recruitment problems in the industry).
More young recruits are required in construction than any other industry and it isn’t difficult to see why. The government has earmarked £billions for major projects including Thames Gateway, Wembley Stadium and Crossrail. Here in Brighton on a smaller scale proposed developments like the King Alfred Centre, Brighton Centre, Black Rock and the Marina will all require thousands of construction workers at a time when shortages have never been greater.
Like the rest of the country, Brighton & Hove is trying to address the problem with imaginative schemes like the Karis/ING construction training agreement with the GMB Union. Many in the industry are also looking to the enlarged EU to provide a pool of willing (and skilled) labour but the very expansion that makes this a possibility will also create opportunities for workers in their home countries. Foreign workers might be reluctant to travel to the UK if there are ample work opportunities at home. There is an increasing feeling that the labour and skills shortages in construction will be a major challenge to the future prosperity of the south-east and the UK.
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Construction and associated trades Industry
Construction Industry Training Board CITB
Sector Skills Council