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£190 BILLION BOUNTY FOR UK CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS

The future for construction businesses was confirmed as healthy and buoyant this week with the publication of new research on future construction projects . In response to the research, ConstructionSkills, have contacted employers across the UK to offer valuable training support without which they may miss out on the new business on offer nationally.

The new statistics from the Construction Skills Network show that in addition to the ongoing repair and maintenance work and general construction projects already in existence there are over 7, 500 new projects anticipated, with a total value of nearly £190 billion, from 2007 until the end of 2012. In order to help firms to take advantage of this future demand, ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council responsible for construction training and skills provision in the UK, is urging employers to consider their approach to training and retaining staff by outlining the business benefits and the support available to them.

Inadequately trained workers can make expensive mistakes on-site plus,industry’s failure to offer basic level training could be costing every small construction business at least £1,700 a year in terms of errors in material orders, skills shortages and on-site accidents. ConstructionSkills’ Training Campaign aims to reduce these business costs whilst also providing employers with the skills they need to take advantage of the business boom.

Further impetus for employers to train also comes from the recommendations in the Leitch Review of Skills, published on 5th December. The report further endorses the sector-based approach to skills delivery that has been established with the formation of Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) since 2002. This means construction employers, through ConstructionSkills, will have even more say over the development of qualifications and decisions over the funding of education and training, ensuring that they really do meet the needs of employers of all sizes.

The new findings show it won’t just be major contracting companies benefiting from new business. As over 3,800 of projects are valued at under £2million, the future is bright for smaller businesses too.

Guy Hazlehurst, Deputy Director Skills of Strategy ConstructionSkills explains:

“The future of the construction industry looks healthy and it is those companies who have staff with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time who stand to capitalise the most - and investing in training is the only way to guarantee that. In order to maximise their business potential we would urge construction businesses of all sizes to start thinking now about up-skilling and qualifying their staff and training up new recruits - their business can only benefit in the future.”

Construction employers planning on growing their business through investing in training can gain financial assistance through CITB Grants and also practical assistance from ConstructionSkills Company Advisors, who can help advise them on all matters relating to skills and training from health and safety, to getting staff qualified and carded, or even taking on an apprentice.

To ensure construction businesses reap the benefits, employers are being urged to call 0870 0777 248 or visit constructionskills.net for more information.

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