new training courses for construction workers

Training courses for construction workers have been prioritised after £64m was set aside for their development. The sum will go towards teaching construction skills like bricklaying, plastering and a number of other key skills that are currently hard to find in construction candidates.

The decision was made to reverse the UK’s plummeting productivity, which lags behind continental competitors like Germany when it comes to levels of productivity per hour. 

This issue comes from a reluctance of companies to make the switch to newer and more efficient platforms and employees being unable to operate them. By introducing training and support to workers it is hoped that this crisis in efficiency can be tackled head on. 


Time for T (levels). 

Originally introduced in 2016, a technical qualification equivalent to an A level will be rolled out across the UK from 2020. These qualifications will generally be taken by 16-19 year olds but adults will also have the option where appropriate. 

Taught in classrooms, workshops, or simulated work environment, the courses are being developed to not only educate the learners but provide them with real-life situations and experiences to boost their employability factor. Industry leaders such as  Morgan Sindall, Skanska, Morphy Richards EDF, Rolls Royce, Fujitsu and Lloyds will have a hand in developing the content to ensure credibility.


National Retraining Scheme.

The aim of the National Retraining Scheme to help people re-train or up-skill and the £64m will be used to endorse this. The scheme will be piloted by the ‘career learning pilots’ and the National Retraining Partnership, who will be engaging with sectors and Skills Advisory Panel to develop future policy.

The National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline is worth an estimated £600bn and public infrastructure investment will have doubled in a decade. Alongside the 300,000 homes planned across the UK, it is clear that skilled trades workers and labourers will need heavy investment. In Randstad’s 2016 Age of Housebuilding report, it is calculated that we will need a million more construction workers to keep up with the demands of the current housing crisis. 

A national training system is fantastic news for a construction sector that has been suffering from a skills shortage. Developments in the technology of the industry have also left many workers behind the times when it comes to advances in the sector. However, the government has been warned by experts that more funds are needed to train the large number of workers who will be needed for these projects.


Digital Catapult’s Machine Learning Garage.

In January, Digital Catapult will introduce a scheme that will provide low-cost access to high quality machine learning. In a recent report, they identified that manufacturing plays a critical role in our economy and it sees the need for digital manufacturing and access to a technology and knowledge brokerage service to engage manufacturers, universities and digital technology companies. 


Education for all. 

Growing talent is something that appeals to employers and workers alike. For the employer, recruiting becomes easier and their staff more efficient and the learner is given the means to develop and progress their career. It is also something critical when we consider the pace of technological developments in today’s world. 

The manual is no stranger to becoming the automatic and it is essential that skilled workers are not left out of the progression that surrounds them. These new training programmes are a great opportunity for a sector so affected by a skills gap as construction education is something that enriches the lives of the learner, and also those they surround themselves with. 

To keep workers in-line with the digital, education should be readily available from cradle to grave.  

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