News - 13 April 2016

Construction event to help cement industry’s future success

In-depth research on the future of the construction sector and its skills needs – commissioned by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – will be revealed at an event next month (May).

D2N2 – the private sector-led Local Enterprise Partnership promoting economic growth and jobs in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – commissioned the ‘Construction Labour and Skills, and Pipeline Analysis’ research report to assess the number of construction workers needed to complete major projects in its area, up to 2020 and beyond. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Whole Life Consultants Ltd wrote the report.

Up to 120 delegates from the construction industry, skills and training providers, local authorities and other organisations are expected to attend a free event – at Derby Roundhouse, at Derby College, from 7.30am to 10am on Tuesday May 10 – to launch the report, and of a plan to help companies better address their skills needs and access major contracts work.

To book online to attend the free event go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/d2n2-construction-pipeline-analysis-launch-event-tickets-24289628934

The D2N2 research report reveals that:

  • The D2N2 LEP area has more than 70,000 construction workers.
  • Forecasted peak demand, for November 2016, shows the demand from construction projects outstripping the estimated supply of skilled workers, which is why D2N2 is primed and ready to act now.
  • New housing, private commercial, infrastructure and public sector non-housing projects will create most demand.
  • Five D2N2 area colleges deliver more than half the local construction sector’s ‘learning aims’; training the industry has identified as needed to avoid future skills gaps.

Industry leaders including Willmott Dixon, Robert Woodhead Ltd, the Kier Group, The Scape Group and GF Tomlinson have been consulted on the report, for their comments. The study draws on information from the national Construction Skills Network and the Office for National Statistics.

It also highlights the need for better industry forward planning, to avoid a shortage of skilled workers to complete major construction projects; identified as those public or private sector schemes worth more than £250,000. For example, Phase Two of the HS2 high speed rail line, on which work is due to begin in the D2N2 area in 2024, will include building of a hub station at Toton and a maintenance depot at Staveley, Chesterfield.

The May 10 launch event will include:

  • Release of the research report giving an assessment of the known major infrastructure, repair and maintenance projects set to come up in the D2N2 LEP area between now and 2020; and looking at possible shortfalls in the workers or skills needed to complete them.
  • How D2N2 and its partners will use the analysis of known work in the ‘pipeline’, a related online sub-contractor portal, and new skills and training programmes to address any ‘skills gaps’. D2N2 already invests in vocational skills and specific construction projects, which will give its action plan for the sector a solid foundation on which to build.
  • Information on the Local Supply Chain (LSC), an online portal giving construction sector companies more opportunity to bid for major construction projects. The LSC, launched last month (March), was developed by the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) – a local authorities’ initiative, working with construction firms to streamline procurement and delivery of public sector building works – and its partners, and D2N2. The portal is at website localsupplychain.co.uk
  • How D2N2 will work closely with main public and private sector organisations – for example local authorities, Government departments, utilities providers such as Severn Trent Water, and East Midlands Airport – and with construction companies large and small, to promote and update its ‘pipeline analysis’ research.

Lindsay Allen, Senior Programme Manager (Sector Development) at the D2N2 LEP, said: “This D2N2 event will highlight the skills the sector needs and showcase the many activities we already have in place.

“We’ll be encouraging all the event delegates and others to get involved, to build a strong construction sector in the D2N2 LEP area.”

To see how D2N2 is further supporting the construction industry – one of its eight key economic sectors – in the LEP area and beyond, and to give your views on the draft report (deadline for which is 4:30PM April 13), see its website at www.d2n2lep.org/key-sectors/Construction

For further information about this news release contact D2N2 LEP Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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