Contractors struggle to find recruits

Sheffield College tutor Nev Buttery, with students Will Quinle, Josh Clarkson, Jason Banford, and CITB construction careers adviser Tracey Bodle at the Construction4Growth Skills event at Sheffield College.
Sheffield College tutor Nev Buttery, with students Will Quinle, Josh Clarkson, Jason Banford, and CITB construction careers adviser Tracey Bodle at the Construction4Growth Skills event at Sheffield College.
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More than one in 10 construction firms in the Sheffield area say a lack of young talent is holding back their growth.

According to the Construction Industry Training Board, more than four out of 10 contractors are struggling to recruit young workers with the right skills.

Meanwhile, a third have had to go outside the area to find people - at a substantial cost to their business – and more than one in 10 say a lack of skills has made their business less competitive.

The CITB also found that eight out of 10 employers in Sheffield felt that they should be incentivised more to take on youngsters as part of their workforce and a third said more careers advice was needed to inform young people of the opportunities available to them in the sector.

CITB sector strategy manager for Yorkshire & Humberside, Steve Housden, said: “Our report clearly shows that more needs to be done to address construction’s skills ‘time bomb’, to safeguard jobs and ensure that growth is possible for contractors in the Sheffield area.

“Now is the time to start sparking the imagination of young people and harnessing their talent for the future of the industry – any delay now could be putting the industry’s growth on hold.”

The CITB has teamed up with construction equipment giant JCB to launch a drive to encourage a new generation of talented youngsters to consider a career in the industry.

The Construction4Growth Skills Drive recently visited Sheffield College to talk to youngsters about career options in the industry, against the background of new statistics that show almost one in five construction workers in the Yorkshire and Humber area – more than 29,570 people – are due to retire in the next decade.

“It is for this very reason that CITB has been hitting the roads and visiting schools and colleges like Sheffield College with its Construction4Growth Skills Drive, to support the industry in recruiting more young people,” said Steve Housden.

“We need to show that construction is a high-tech, world class industry with outstanding career prospects.”

Sheffield College is extending its construction and engineering facilities and launching new courses including sustainable construction, control systems engineering, robotics and specialist welding, fabrication and metallurgy, from 2015 as part of a £15.6 million, Government-backed upgrade.

n Taylor&Emmet has become the latest Sheffield law firm to gain the Law Society’s internationally acclaimed Lexcel quality mark - after earlier gaining Investors in People accreditation.

The quality mark is granted to firms that demonstrate first class standards of practice management and customer care, following a comprehensive, independent assessment.

Taylor&Emmet’s chief executive, Anthony Long, said: “The process was a genuinely constructive experience that is already having a positive impact on the way we do business.