Firms pledge support for construction industry's growth

CITB, the industry training board and sector skills council for construction, is encouraging employers in Newcastle to commit to staff training and to recruit young talent

With news that the UK construction industry is facing a skills retirement time bomb, CITB, the industry training board and sector skills council for construction, is encouraging employers in Newcastle to commit to staff training and to recruit young talent, to safeguard future of the construction industry.

Recent labour market research, published by the Office of National Statistics, shows that across the North East, 21% of the construction workforce is set to retire in the next 5-10 years.

One way that businesses can signify their intent to address the problem is by signing a Construction4Growth pledge. Already, more than 100 construction employers in the North East have done just that.

The initiative, which aims to respond to the challenges currently facing the construction industry, has been set up to encourage government to increase investment, develop skills and drive growth through construction.

Steve Housden, sector strategy manager for CITB in the North East, said: “The Government and the industry have responded positively to our industry-led Construction4Growth campaign, but with a skills shortage looming, it is clear that more must be done. We are encouraging all local construction employers to sign a pledge of support for this initiative, and to commit to bringing in fresh, skilled workers to combat the skills shortage that we are currently facing.”

A skilled workforce is central to sustained growth in construction. Through the C4G campaign, CITB will build on the success of the 17,000 apprentices it supports each year, to develop and signpost initiatives that improve productivity, have a positive impact on growth and deliver a talented workforce.

Pledges of support from across the industry will be used to encourage government to increase investment in the sector and put construction at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the skills shortage in the UK’s critical construction industry is being tackled head on through a joint venture between South Tyneside College and construction company Carillion.

The two have joined forces to train a first batch of 80 teenagersin brickwork, carpentry andjoinery, painting and decorating and plastering.

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