The construction industry does much to nurture young talent but with the opportunities unfolding I’m sure it needs to do more. It is vital that the industry plans for the future and secures the talent and skills needed, so that it has recruited effectively for the workforce of tomorrow.
Many industries, construction included, are facing a skills gap where a retiring workforce is taking with it invaluable skills and years of experience. There is a lack of young people coming into the industry to sustain it. For this reason we all need to be doing more to nurture new talent and recruit the sheer numbers of young employees needed to get the industry ready for a brighter future.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of introducing young talent to the sector and now the higher level apprenticeships can also attract bright school leavers who would rather learn on the job than run up large university debts. Construction Youth Trust and other third sector organisations can play a key role in helping hidden talent to be seen by the sector. Through the provision of courses aimed at both the trades and professions we enable young people to discover the vast array of careers construction can offer.
A recent Ofsted report has highlighted the poor nature of much careers guidance in schools. A key recommendation of the report is for more employer input in schools.
Our programmes including Budding Brunels do just that by taking colleagues from employer partners in to schools to bring the industry to life. We want to do more work with schools so that young people can make informed decisions about what the industry has to offer and the exciting opportunities therein.
We know there are many young people seeking apprenticeships and I call upon you all to go the extra mile to help them pursue a career in construction. We can do it together!