Construction employers have been offered free information and new ideas to help them tackle urgent recruitment and training problems.
The construction sector in Sussex alone has 30,000 workers and many employers are losing business due to increasing competition for qualified people. The situation will become even worse as further demand in the South East over the next five years is forecast at 77,500 new recruits.
More than 80% of construction firms in the South East currently report recruitment problems. They now face a tough challenge to retain staff. Skills shortages have been made more difficult by the 30% drop in numbers entering further education from 1990 to 1997. This is now changing the way specifiers select their chosen suppliers. Buyers for new projects are responding by selecting firms who can show strong supply chains with qualified workers.
To help employers face these challenges the Learning and Skills Council commissioned a consortium of independent sector consultants to link up with employers and sector bodies. The consultants have construction employment experience and have researched best practice and innovation in workforce development. They conducted the research with employers and trade bodies so that a wide variety of ideas to combat the coming threats could be shared. Special emphasis was placed on how to improve supervisory skills and increase inclusion of female recruits.
Those willing to participate were offered the research findings to help them win the war for talent, and avoid more employment headaches.