The government’s pledged to build 300,000 homes per year to help solve the current housing shortage – but do we have the workforce to ensure that target’s realised?
It would appear not. Latest figures show the UK construction industry needs an estimated 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects.
The worker-shortfall has been largely blamed on failure to replace employees who have left the industry due to retirement or career change. It’s left a skills vacuum that requires urgent filling. Ordinarily, the outgoing workforce would be seamlessly replaced by a new generation of builders, but it appears youngsters no longer view construction as a desirable career choice. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction scored a tiny 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’.’
The construction industry needs to rebuild its image in the eyes of the young if a whole generation of builders and site workers is not to be lost to other sectors. Educating the workforce of tomorrow on the innumerable benefits of a construction-based career would be a start. The question we should be asking youngsters is: ‘why wouldn’t you want to aspire to become a building professional’? Those entering the industry have it in their hands to shape the world we live in today and our future environment. What more incentive should one need?
Training can also help ‘skill-up’ a new generation of construction workers, particularly those looking for an industry-recognised qualification as an opportunity and career enhancer. A more able, experienced workforce will also benefit the industry as a whole, improving efficiency across all disciplines - be it insulation, roofing or concreting - to create structures that excel in terms of performance for the health, comfort and wellbeing of the occupants.
The training academy being progressed by Baumit, caters for External Wall Insulation installers and applicators of all abilities. The bronze, silver and gold courses, which will take place at our specially-equipped UK HQ in Aylesford, Kent, can be tailored to suit individual or group needs. It’s important to note: these sessions are not an opportunity for our experts to lecture candidates - this is not a return to the classroom. This is a hands-on, practical learning experience with ‘real-life’ challenges usually encountered in the workplace.
We’ve gone the extra mile to ensure candidates leave our course better-informed with more confidence in all EWI matters. The Silver & Gold courses take place over two days; a greater time for candidates to absorb and reflect on the information and skills they’ve learnt. It also gives them a chance to build a rapport with course leaders, as our support goes beyond that provided within the academy environment. As part of our aftercare ethos, we want candidates to be confident enough to contact us whenever EWI issues determine.
Ultimately, we want those who complete the bronze-to-gold course journey to be equipped with an industry qualification in the form of OSCAR Onsite overview and approval, as well as become a Baumit-approved partner and gain access to a host of other benefits.
A recent RICS survey revealed 62% of surveyors cited the UK construction skills shortage an impediment to infrastructural growth. With adversity, however, comes opportunity. There has never been a better time to forge a career in construction – your country really does need you.
For more information on Baumit’s training academy, course content, availability and cost, click here.