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Launch of new industry-wide scheme, Construction Showcase, the year-round replacement for National Construction Week.

A fresh approach to National Construction Week was unveiled at Skills for London last week, as ConstructionSkills launched Construction Showcase – an industry wide scheme that will give construction employers, schools and colleges the opportunity to showcase the careers and opportunities that are available in the construction industry.

Construction Showcase will give a new lease of life to the hugely successful National Construction Week (NCW) by giving employers more opportunities to showcase their talent and promote their business all year round.

Employers who get involved in National Construction Showcase will be encouraged to use the Construction Showcase “quality mark”, as well as promoting their events on the Construction Showcase website www.constructionshowcase.co.uk. They will also be able tap into ConstructionSkills online campaigns for young people that run on BEBO and www.bconstructive.co.uk.

The scheme was launched at the Skills for London exhibition at the ExCeL Centre, London on 20-22 November. The careers expo attracts up to 40,000 young people aged between 14-19 every year, from Greater London and the Home Counties.

Sir Michael Latham, chairman of ConstructionSkills, and Roy Cavanagh of Seddon Group joined ConstructionSkills Careers Advisors at the exhibition for a special Construction Showcase launch event – run in partnership with the National Training Heritage Group.

Designed to give young people the opportunity to find out more about construction careers, the event included demonstrations and “have a go” sessions from tradespeople and professionals – including stonemasons, bricklayers, thatchers, joiners and architects and civil engineers.

Roy Cavanagh, training manager at Seddon Group, said: “Construction Showcase will operate all year round, and cover all kinds of events. This means that employers can showcase their talent all year round and it gives young people the opportunity to find out more about careers a time that is best for them and not restricted to one week in October.”

He added: “Construction is a great career option and the opportunities are boundless. During these difficult times, we need to invest in training more than ever before so that we are ready for the upturn to our industry when it comes. These Construction Showcase events will help us to attract bright young people to the industry when we need it most and so Construction Showcase is vital to the future success of our industry.”

National launch events are also planned for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Visit www.constructionshowcase.co.uk for more details.

Boris welcomes ConstructionSkills’ strategy to meet London’s skills needs

ConstructionSkills’ London Strategy document – setting out ambitious plans to meet the capital’s skills and employment needs, including targets for work placements, apprenticeships and qualification attainment – was launched at the Skills for London exhibition at ExCeL Centre on 22 November.

London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, visited the ConstructionSkills’ stand to discuss the Strategy and to join youngsters and construction trainees taking part in a Construction Showcase event. The Mayor tried out several trades, showing a particular interest in stonemasonry, timber frame construction and thatching!

Commenting on the Strategy, Boris said: "The construction industry is central to the capital’s economic and social prosperity. In the coming years, London’s construction workforce will be required to deliver major improvements to the city’s infrastructure and public services such as hospitals, roads and affordable housing for key workers.

"ConstructionSkills’ Greater London strategy provides an excellent framework for ensuring we have a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce. For the longer term, it enables the industry to create a lasting legacy – both in terms of the physical built environment and through training and employment opportunities.

ConstructionSkills’ London Strategy sets out ambitious plans for London. At present London has over 1,000 active construction projects with more than 2,500 more planned. ConstructionSkills is working to ensure that London can meet the demand for 15,000 recruits per year until 2012 and to make sure that construction firms make the most of the £50million of investment available for training.

To download a copy of the London Strategy document visit the ConstructionSkills website at www.cskills.org/aboutus/ourstructure/pubs.aspx

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and find out more about how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update.

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