The British Chamber of Commerce announced a skills shortage across the UK construction industry in its Quarterly Recruitment Outlook. It showed the construction industry as reporting the highest proportion of companies (34 per cent) seeking to increase their workforce in the first quarter of 2020.
This sector skills shortage is being addressed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) with its Construction Gateway programme, which introduces learners to construction skills and gets them ready for work. It also helps students with interview techniques, CV writing and employability skills, and most importantly guarantees them a job interview on completion of the course.
The programme is open to adults who are unemployed, on short-hours contracts or in low-skilled jobs. After completing the course, every student is supported on their journey to work through the National Careers Service for as long as they need, regardless of whether their first interview is a success, or not.
Anyone not offered a job immediately on completion of the course is added to a list of site-ready workers that is shared with construction recruiters across the West Midlands. Since summer 2018, 1,403 people have been through the Construction Gateway training, with 627 people having successfully moved into jobs after completing the course.
The construction industry in the West Midlands is expected to create 50,000 new jobs over the next ten years, offering careers for young people and adults. Construction is not just about brick laying as working in the sector could mean using cutting-edge equipment and technology such as drones, virtual reality and robotics.
Through programmes like the Construction Gateway local people can get the skills needed to work on major projects such as HS2, the Midland Metropolitan Hospital and the Commonwealth Games.
If you are an employer you can help boost skills in the region by recruiting an apprentice or offering work experience. If you are ready to add new people to your workforce, Think Sandwell’s Employment Team provides a complete package of support to guide you through the entire recruitment process. Visit our Recruitment and training page to find out more.
To learn more about the Construction Gateway programme contact the WMCA through its website https://www.wmca.org.uk/contact-us or call 0121 200 2787.
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