Chancellor George Osbourne has announced major new commitments to construction projects across the UK. In addition to giving the go ahead for the £27 billion development of Crossrail 2 in London, a green light was given to significant infrastructure projects across the North of England. Schemes such as HS3 between Leeds and Manchester, the widening of the M62, upgrades to the A66 and A69 in the North Pennines and a look into the feasibility of a Trans-Pennine tunnel linking Sheffield and Manchester, were all backed by the Chancellor.
Although much is still at planning stage, the 2016 Budget clearly indicates a long-term plan to improving infrastructure across the UK. However, with projects such as Crossrail 2 not set for completion until 2030, it will be the next generation of construction industry professionals who will be tasked with delivering the projects through to their conclusion. With such large scale projects in the pipeline, more and more jobs are set to be created; and with more and more jobs being created, naturally there will be greater demand for skilled new industry professionals.
National Federation of Builders’ Chair for the North West region, Clare Watson, stated “While it is important to maintain the skills needed to preserve our traditional buildings, it is equally important to keep an eye on skills needed for the future. There is a huge amount of talent in the North West. Improving transport and infrastructure will not only improve business prospects, it will increase social mobility and widen the opportunities available in construction for the next generation.”
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) revealed recently that in the period up to 2020, there could be as many as 22 500 new construction jobs created in the North West alone. Despite the perceived skills shortage in the industry, recent trends suggest apprenticeships and vocational training courses are growing in popularity with construction firms taking on apprentices up by a third in the past year, according to new research released last week during National Apprenticeship Week.
With a renewed focus on creating jobs within the industry and a skilled workforce to support it, North England Build 2016 will be launching the new Skills Hub zone. The Skills Hub will bring together some of the UK's leading universities, recruiters and construction companies to provide students, job seekers and career movers with a unique opportunity to meet and network with industry insiders offering the best possible advice for a career in construction.
Francesca Berriman MBE HonDTech, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and official partner of North England Build 2016, said “The skills necessary now, and in the future, to sustain the Government programme of construction work provides the industry the opportunity to showcase the variety of careers available within the built environment/construction sector; the industry is a dynamic and innovative one to choose and as such CIAT is delighted to be supporting the Skills Zone launch. The discipline of Architectural Technology is a young, creative, vibrant and exciting one and a respected career to choose. It provides practitioners the chance to lead projects from the initial design to the final sign-off of a completed building; that is a real achievement.”
Adapted from press release by Joseph Green
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/24032016/north-england-build-launch-skills-hub-zone-766/