People & Skills Projects - 10 May 2016

Construction Skills Pipeline for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire unveiled at D2N2 event

Over 80 businesspeople heard plans to improve construction in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, at a skills pipeline event this morning (May 10).

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership unveiled its ‘Construction Labour and Skills Research’ report – written by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Whole Life Consultants Ltd – at Derby College’s Roundhouse Building today, which looks at how many construction workers will be needed to complete major infrastructure projects across the area up to 2020 and beyond.

D2N2 identified construction as a key economic sector when it wrote its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), detailing how it would work with businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers and community and voluntary organisations to boost the economies of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and create 55,000 new jobs in ten years. Research in the report shows that forecasted peak demand for skilled construction workers is outstripping supply, which is why D2N2 is primed and ready to act.

Recommendations made in the report include:

  • Development of the future curriculum and increasing the delivery of construction skills training.
  • Building a more positive image of construction and enhancing careers guidance in schools.
  • Development of a long term picture of construction investments across the D2N2 area and use of their potential skills demands to help inform skills recruitment.

It also highlights the need for better industry forward planning, to ensure a supply of skilled workers when completing 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.

Today’s event looked at 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’ in upcoming infrastructure, repair and maintenance projects between now and 2020. The online sub-contractor portal – known as the Local Supply Chain – was launched in March of this year (2016) 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 located at http://www.localsupplychain.co.uk.

Speakers at Today’s event were:

  • Peter Richardson, Chair of D2N2 LEP,
  • Marcus Bennett, CITB,
  • Doug Forbes, Whole Life Consultants,
  • Lindsay Allen, D2N2 LEP,
  • Katrina Woodward, D2N2 LEP,
  • Mark Townsend, Derry Building Services,
  • Debbie Keegan, Derby College,
  • Tracey Hutchinson, Derby College,
  • Ian Hodgkinson, Hodgkinson Brickwork,
  • David Bullock, Firefly,and
  • Maria Willis, D2N2 Construction Ambassador.

As part of its mission to improve construction in its area, 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:

“Construction employs approximately 79,000 people in D2N2. The construction pipeline analysis will help give our businesses the confidence of a solid order book, with an estimated £10.5bn spend in the next 5 years, and with all the support available businesses can grow and take on new staff” 

Katrina Woodward, Commissioning Manager (Skills and Employability) at D2N2, added:

“The pipeline analysis clearly sets out future skills needs and recommendations to further empower the employer voice, creating a skills system for D2N2 businesses which is truly demand led and raising the image of the sector to our young people – the future workforce.”

To see other initiatives D2N2 is working on, to help the construction sector in its area, visit www.d2n2lep.org/key-sectors/construction

To view a copy of the Construction Labour and Skills Research report, visit http://www.d2n2lep.org/write/D2N2-Construction-Labour-and-Skills-Research-Short-Report.pdf

For further information about this news release contact Sam Burbage, Social Media and Marketing Officer at the D2N2 LEP, on 01159 578254, or by email: sam.burbage@d2n2lep.org

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