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ConstructionSkills calls for Managers to build the Olympics

ConstructionSkills announced last week the plans for building the Olympics and warned that good management and leadership is vital to delivering London 2012.

ConstructionSkills also announced the first figures identifying the skills and number of workers needed to build the Olympic facilities and the dedicated team behind the drive for skills and employment – Constructing London 2012.

ConstructionSkills has published analysis showing that the task of building the London 2012 Olympics will create approximately 33,500 additional jobs over the next seven years, with civil engineering and a range of specialist skills in particularly high demand.

However, the organisation is warning that with a number of major projects to be delivered in the Greater London area over the next few years, managing workflow will be vital in order for the industry to deliver on all demands.

The skills forecast is based on construction work directly attributable to the Games. It indicates that the number of workers needed to complete Olympic construction projects will peak at around 7,500 in 2010. This figure includes a range of specialist skilled workers who will be required to build the complex mix of stadia, infrastructure and residential developments.

The forecast of 33,500 broadly breaks down as 6,500 managerial or administrative roles, 2,800 professionals such as architects and surveyors, and 24,000 trade or craft roles.

Sheila Hoile, Skills Strategy Director at CITB-ConstructionSkills, says:

“We believe that this analysis is the most accurate and realistic forecast available at this stage of planning. Building the Olympics needs to be seen in the wider context of the current massive demand on the UK construction industry. In the wider South East and Greater London alone there is £34bn worth of projects of over £100mn each in the pipeline. This is in addition to the existing Greater London construction industry with an annual value of approximately £12 billion. So the Olympics represents a huge construction programme with the work involved accounting for nearly 10% of the total picture in these regions.

“With major projects currently on site such as Heathrow Terminal 5, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Wembley, Britain is well-equipped for the task ahead. However, the years 2008-2010 are critical for London, with the number of workers on site at any one time in the South East area expected to peak in 2010. Good workflow management and effective leadership are vital to long-term success.”

The Olympic skills figures are the first to be produced by the Construction Skills Network, a new cross-industry alliance developed by ConstructionSkills to revolutionise construction recruitment and training. The Network will provide the industry’s most comprehensive model for forecasting capacity, productivity and skills across the construction industry, and to plan for the impact of future trends on the construction workforce.

Hoile continues:

“The Construction Skills Network will help to ensure that the industry has the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time. As more plans are finalised for the Olympic and Thames Gateway developments over the coming years, so the Network will be able to produce more accurate figures on how many people – and more importantly, in what roles – will be needed to deliver this massive project.”

National Skills Academy receives government green-light

The Olympic skills need analysis follows the news this week that the government has accepted ConstructionSkills’ mould-breaking proposals for a Construction National Skills Academy operating as a network of on-site training centres available on major construction projects around the country.

The approach, which is designed to overcome the challenges of training a mobile workforce in a sector largely made up of small firms and sole traders, will include training units linked to the construction of facilities for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

ConstructionSkills is also unveiling a dedicated team to help ensure that the construction programme to build world-leading facilities and infrastructure for the Olympic Games is delivered safely, on time and on budget, to leave a lasting legacy for London. Working as part of the Strategic Forum Olympic Task Group, the Constructing London 2012 team will work with partners to recruit and train local people, to ensure that constructing the Olympics provides sustainable skills and job opportunities for the residents of East London.

For further information, you can read the full press release.

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