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Addressing the skills shortage within the UK construction industry

World Cement,

University partners with industry to develop ‘soft skills’ in construction

Birmingham City University and Mott MacDonald Ltd have formed a partnership to help address skills shortages in the UK construction industry. The initiative, which starts in September 2014, will enable students at the University’s School of the Built Environment to develop ‘soft skills’ such as problem solving, which will help them to progress in their future careers. They will also have the opportunity to take part in an international construction competition hosted by the University and sponsored by Mott MacDonald.

“Students securing places at the University's School of the Built Environment will have the opportunity to gain direct experience of both construction and people skills with Mott MacDonald in Birmingham's projects around the UK. The construction industry needs problem solvers with the skills to enable them to develop the talents of others and to recognise their own strengths for future opportunities,” said Birmingham City University’s Professor Nick Morton.

UK construction manager joins NOCN Board

The NOCN, a credit-based awarding organisation that helps people to develop the skills and confidence needed to gain a job or apprenticeship, has announced that Alison Lamplough has joined the Board. Lamplough is Head of Operational Training at Lain O’Rourke, where she is responsible for training the 4500 people at the construction firm’s European Hub. In addition to serving as Chair of the Construction Trailblazers Apprenticeship Employer Group, Lamplough has worked with the NOCN on a new style employer-led apprenticeship in line with the government’s Richard Review principles.

NOCN Managing Director, Graham Hasting Evans, stated: “The construction industry is going through challenging times due to a skills shortage and an aging workforce but it's also experiencing an exciting period of change. Since working with Laing O'Rourke, and in particular Alison, we've been impressed with her extensive knowledge and experience. We're confident that having Alison on our board will help us to continue to create new and worthwhile qualifications to fit around what today's businesses need.”

Recession hangover

In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, Hanson Cement’s Patrick O’Shea noted that the recession had caused a number of companies to reduce apprenticeship levels. According to O’Shea, the much discussed skills shortage within the constructor sector has also been compounded by the current government’s clamp down on immigration numbers, pushing labour costs even higher. The full interview can be found here.

Edited from various sources by

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