Construction skills pipeline unveiled at D2N2 event

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Over 80 businesspeople heard plans to improve construction in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire at a skills pipeline event on Tuesday.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership unveiled its “Construction Labour and Skills Research” report – written by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Whole Life Consultants – at the event held at Derby College’s Roundhouse Building. The report looks at how many construction workers will be needed to complete major infrastructure projects across the area up to 2020 and beyond.

D2N2 identified construction as a key economic sector when it wrote its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), detailing how it would work with businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers and community and voluntary organisations to boost the economies of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and create 55,000 new jobs in ten years.

Research in the report shows that forecasted peak demand for skilled construction workers is outstripping supply, which is why D2N2 is ready to act.

Recommendations made in the report include the development of the future curriculum and increasing the delivery of construction skills training; building a more positive image of construction and enhancing careers guidance in schools; the development of a long term picture of construction investments across the D2N2 area; and the use of their potential skills demands to help inform skills recruitment.

The report also highlights the need for better industry forward planning to ensure a supply of skilled workers when completing major construction projects.

The D2N2 event looked at how the LEP and its partners will use the analysis of known work in the “pipeline” – a related online sub-contractor portal – and new skills and training programmes to address any skills gaps in upcoming infrastructure, repair and maintenance projects.

Lindsay Allen, senior programme manager (sector development) at the D2N2 LEP, said: “Construction employs approximately 79,000 people in D2N2. The construction pipeline analysis will help give our businesses the confidence of a solid order book, with an estimated £10.5bn spend in the next 5 years, and with all the support available businesses can grow and take on new staff”.

Katrina Woodward, commissioning manager (skills and employability) at D2N2, added: “The pipeline analysis clearly sets out future skills needs and recommendations to further empower the employer voice, creating a skills system for D2N2 businesses which is truly demand led and raising the image of the sector to our young people – the future workforce”.