The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership today outlined five key strategic asks that will have a major impact to drive forward and create a vibrant and economically robust construction sector.
This sector employs more than 40,000 people across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire but while significant, it is substantially lower than was the case before the onset of the recession in 2008/09.
Now, D2N2 has published its Construction Sector Action Plan where it highlights its strategic priorities to help achieve this. They are:
- Construction pipeline analysis
- Sub-contractor portal
- Creation of Construction Ambassador role
- Building Information Modelling (BIM) to support SMEs and construction supply chain
- Improving Net Exports
D2N2 has highlighted eight key sectors to economic growth and a private-sector-led group has been established for each to identify ways in which the economic impact of the recovering sector can be maximised through driving growth, training and employment opportunities for local people.
Through championing improved public sector procurement strategies, supply chain and main contractor engagement as well as delivery of a more relevant training infrastructure to up-skill the workforce, the construction group has identified a plan to support strong growth in this industry.
Morgan Sindall’s Louise Townsend chairs D2N2’s Construction Sector Action Plan and Skills Sector advisory groups.
She said: “The recession had a major impact on the construction sector and has left a considerable shortage of resource to fulfil the pipeline of work that is becoming available to us.
“Through proactively identifying the pipeline, upskilling our supply chain, investing in training programmes, apprentices and graduates along with encouraging the public sector to procure construction services with an eye on social and economic impacts, we can rebuild a vibrant and rich sector that will provide jobs and opportunity for the communities within the D2N2 area.”
D2N2’s overall objective is to create 55,000 new private sector jobs and 77,000 new homes by 2023, with construction identified as one of eight key sectors.
Lindsay Allen, D2N2’s Senior Programme Manager (Sector Development), said: “From the 18 recommendations the sector has indentified five key strategic asks that would have the biggest impact in driving this sector forward and delivering the vision for the D2N2 construction Sector.
“To ensure this is a vibrant sector, there is a need for procurement opportunities to be clear and accessible. Also, the expectations of workforce skills have to be consistent and clear while training provision to supply this must be relevant and available.”
Ian Woodland, Project Manager for Compendium Living which is delivering the Castleward Project in Derby, said: “As an organisation we would strongly support D2N2’s targets to improve access to surplus public land for new housing to be created.
“Anything that helps simplify the current complex planning process – while encouraging good design is also welcome.
“Proposals that encourage training and apprenticeships – of both trades people and in technical professions – are vital for the industry to deliver the number of homes that are needed in the future.”
Gemma Colley, of Nottingham-based building solutions provider J. Tomlinson, said: “As a business we are looking to grow over the next five years and to do that we need to continue to develop and strengthen our in-house resources and supply chain.
“J. Tomlinson is experiencing skills shortages, a pervasive issue for the industry currently, and as such the recommendations in the D2N2 Sector Development Plan to drive more entrants into the industry; to improve apprenticeships and develop industry relevant leadership and management programmes to support and share best practice are key areas which could significantly support our business and the local economy.”
D2N2’s other key sectors are Transport Equipment Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Food and Drink Manufacturing, Visitor Economy, Low Carbon – Goods and services, Transport and Logistics as well as Creative Industries.
For more information and to view the Construction action plan, go to www.d2n2lep.org/construction