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Recruiting qualified new entrants


1. Have current graduates and new recruits in general, the appropriate skills for commencing a career in the construction industry?


School leavers - will generally have limited relevant skills - need to pick these up via new diploma, apprenticeships etc.

Graduates - tend to have technical competence in chosen areas, but can lack wider base.

School leavers - need more investment in career guidance.

If we want to attract more entrants we will need to relax some of the health and safety criteria.

Use of 'virtual sites' for schools.

Undergrads - need to ensure multi-disciplinary mix for individuals to prepare them.

Undergraduates - ethics should also be incorporated in learning.

Constructionarium - such ideas require more funding.

Expectation of employers of graduates is often unrealistic. Need to expect skilled to be developed on the job once appointed.

Apprentices; need to be supported to achieve.

Also employer expectation can be too high. Need to develop the skills needed.

Need more apprenticeship courses not FT FE courses.

ConstructionSkills needs to shape the quals to reflect what employers require. May need to remove the qualifications which are no longer useful.

Need to prepare FE colleges for the changes and especially recruit appropriate staff.

National Skills Academy for Construction will help develop an employer-led approach.

The new Construction and Built Environment 14-19 Diploma will help.

Do graduates know the opportunities available in construction/ How to get the info out? Especially the big picture.

We are finding a lot of graduates are not aware of what the job entails.

Plant operators - once training has been done, they do have the skills to do the job.

Graduates have the technical knowledge, they do not necessarily have the

softer skills, communications.

Would be useful to have a small add-on course, possibly provided by employer, to learn soft skills.

Same applies to craft, i.e. still need to acquire soft skills.

More could be done in graduates’ year out.

No bulk of industry- new build, and specialist skills.

People aren't sufficiently educated when they come into the sector. They are coming in with traditional industry skills but not reflecting today's industry i.e cultural, community skills.

Need for early engagement with individuals pursuing a career in construction.


Huge issue with basic skills, reliant on employers to train despite being of graduate ability.

Quality of craft NVQ Level 3, no real competence in that role.... not the end of the process- more the beginning.

Graduate basic skills not always very good, and sometimes their expectations about what they want from work is correct – e.g work practices - benefits etc

Industry may have to think about work patterns - work - life balance

Need people who have the motivation.

Beyond graduates - world is changing quickly and need employers and young people to adapts to change.

Applications often are weak - literacy - text speech not good

No, from experience of talking to employers.

Training and development plan is brought in to aid people.

People desperate to get into the industry. Simplified procedures are needed.

Lot of work to look after new entrants, lots of employers just don't always know what to do with them.

Yes, most people are fit for purpose. Employer engagement is the issue.

Employers don't know what to do, there is not enough structure for employers. Not enough that comes form the colleges in terms of what the students need to learn.

Trying to meet expectatations of schools and the employer is very difficult.

Should be looking at people already in work - number of young people reducing.

Appropriate level - will entrants to new Construction and Built Environment Diploma be able to cope with the demands. Writing skills lacking.

Construction seen as dumping ground. Lack of practical experience to develop skills and lack of funding opportunities.

Graduates - need to look to future needs, not what skills we need now.

Have to make provision for those who can't reach Level 2.

Innovation may need entrants at Level 3.

14-19 Construction and Built Environment Diploma - equivalence with O and A levels may attract new entrants

Reading and writing and basic skills crucial.

Bigger pool of higher level entrants for Construction and the Built Environment

General view was no but the following could help:-

Internships for graduates who have some preparation for the realities of site.

Leakage of graduates - could be addressed through sandwich type courses.

Impact of Diplomas could be compromised by lack of knowledge of teachers and lack of realistic training facilities.

Diplomas generally accepted but limited impact in some areas such as plant.

Schools need to put more emphasis on employability and basic skills.

Lack of clarity on responsibilities of education and practical knowledge between industry and education establishments.

There are graduates who have and have not had work placements - the ones which have had work placements are more skilled - they are more geared up to the job in hand.

Learning is more than sitting behind a desk – practical learning experience is critical.

There is a lack of availability in on-hand training in the specialist trades.

Much of what is on offer in the way of industry training is very much based on traditional methods - there is a need for industry to adopt newer techniques.

Focusing on a single discipline doesn't necessarily work - there needs to be a much wider view on learning.

If the professional institutions are not up-to-date than this will have a adverse effect.

Key skills, functional skills are very necessary - 'back to basics'.

There are not the same issues relating to the craft side of the industry as they are expected to learn on the job.

2. What would encourage employers to offer more employment and work experience opportunities?


For graduates - they can bring research based knowledge into the firm

As an example, constructionarium could be applied early for undergraduates to widen skills

Actively working with employers about benefits of app for the longer term and also 'selling' grants for relevant area

Bringing clients to bear on te problem

employer resistant as fear may lose the trained employee
But need some targeted marketing to get more employers involved
also employers want experienced staff (which can be provided by PLA)
NEED TO sell the commercial benefits of apprenticeships as well as the opportunity to train the managers of the future to

Training groups via GTAs
Overtraining of apprentices by large employers

P&D Trade Association is encouraging their members to take on a PLA by selling the benefit that the young person has already shown an interest in the industry.
Is there a view held by employers that the methods of teaching in colleges are old-fashioned and more modern methods should be taught?
Plant - wage subsidy in year 1 would encourage employers to take on inexperienced young people rather than experienced.
People on site need to accept that people need to be trained.
Client has a role to play to ensure that training takes place. Incentive could be with client.

Current undergraduate- more work placements than intake for civils, etc. Serious issue cited by two employers.
Universities need to increase intake.
Is the curricula fit for purpose? Some employers may choose to train graduates once recruited, including non-cognates.
Issue with graduates choosing other sectors than construction.

Need to encourage via govt a % of directly employed workforce ie via procurement.
Need to influence clients!

Simplification of qualifications and training, simplify so it makes sense to the employers.
Need to ensure support mechanisms are in place for SMEs ie grants, relevant training/ progression routes.
What is 'train to gain'?!?!?!?

Need to simplify CSCS/ card schemes to allow onsite opportunities for training.
Need to create understanding of legislation, ie CRB, H&S, to 'challenge' resisting employers.

Expanding NSAfC approach, to embed through the supply chain.

Encouraging CSR and IiP as business benefits, to be delivered through employment and skills.

consistent workload in public projects would help
regional differences - moving workforce in London and south east compared to say Scotland
maybe some pooling arrangements between SMEs

need some sort of clearing house
too many projects run by middlemen that rely on subcontractors / self employed
SMEs wont offer apprenceships because of uncertainty of business
problem of work for employers often moving around the country

specialist trades also difficult
a lot of consolidation in housebuilding and when downturn the first isse to go would be training and so need to find someway of underpinning it

problem for yp having to find their own apprenticeships
undervalued trades for years and need to bring back value of this sort of ind - not a default

Employers need a bit more guidance in terms of developing employees

Apprenticeship programme helps employers.

It would help if there was guidance on key point of what to teach the students and how to give them support.

Need more hand holding for the employee and the employer.

Need more objective setting.

Consideration needs to be given to smaller employers.

Employers preconceptions of what students will be like is wholly unfounded.

Qualifications are not relevant to workplace and some things need to be un taught.

Need to incorporate into employers CPD- train the trainers.

Different kinds of support and guidance needed, depending on the employee.

Most employers would rather take employees as a blank canvas and teach them what they need to know, without the preconceived ideas, so spend time untraining students.

Funding does not help- could increase. Time is money in a smaller business.

New Diploma should appeal to employers - employers involved in development.

Properly articulated case of business benefits needed

What age level? Health and Safety and issue for under 18s. Insurance issues for smaller companies. Even universities require cards to get undergraduates on site.

Need for a basic CSCS card for young people.

Needs to be made simpler for employers in terms of rules and regulations

Longer periods of training would help employers.

Clients could put pressure on companies to have more involvement with education

Contractors and sub-contractors - system doesn’t lend itself to training

Academy model useful.

Regulation - insist on a certain percentage of apprentices on site.

Tax incentives

Clients should drive contracts to include budgets for training

Client driven incentives to level playing field between main contractor and sub contractor to minimise financial disincentive

Joint training amongst small organisations can be explored to enable a more comprehensive work experience programme

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