The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published the first sector-wide skills plan for construction, developed by industry. The Industry Skills Plan for the UK Construction Sector 2021-25 sets out the key skills challenges facing construction and how they will be tackled.
The plan sets out a series of clear actions and commitments for both industry and government to help meet these challenges, grouped under the key areas of careers; standards and qualifications; training, education and development and culture and working environment.
To improve the attractiveness of construction careers and access to them, a Talent View portal will be created, providing a one-stop-shop for new entrants and an industry standard for work experience will be put in place. In addition, up to 7,000 STEM ambassadors will be encouraged to join the sector-specific Construction and Built Environment scheme, with a target of 1,700 fully supported by 2024.
A set of new construction traineeship programmes and a pathway from further education into construction will be developed in order to support and boost routes into the industry. There will be a move to focus of competence by developing new competence frameworks. New training standards will be set in two areas: to support the drive towards net zero fossil fuel emissions; and for smart construction to develop digital and offsite construction skills.
The CLC is also supporting the drive towards increased direct employment. The plan supports government mandates on direct employment through procurement.
Mark Reynolds, group chief executive of Mace and a CLC member, said: “This is the most ambitious and wide-ranging skills plan the construction sector has ever produced. It should have a far-reaching impact on how we attract, retain and develop people in construction and help deliver upon government’s home-building and infrastructure plans. Many of the challenges we address in this plan will require a shared commitment over years, so the hard work starts now to deliver real and lasting change for the benefit of the whole sector.”
Sarah Beale, chief executive of CITB and chair of the CLC skills network, said: “While the past year has been incredibly challenging for all of us, industry has pulled together more than ever before, and this plan is the result. We now all need to get behind this plan, and support sector-wide initiatives such as the Talent Retention Scheme, STEM ambassadors and the fairness, inclusion and respect programme. There’s no doubt that if this spirit of collaboration continues and this plan is delivered, industry will be much better able to attract new talent and meet upcoming skills and productivity challenges.”