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Schools 'must do more to promote construction jobs'

Feb 20th 2018 10:02am



Image may contain: one or more people and outdoorNot enough is being done in schools to highlight careers in trades such as construction, a new report has warned.

The review of vocational qualifications also said the range of courses on offer was "confusing" and they often do not prepare students for the workplace. The regulator, said broader and simpler qualifications are needed.

Recent research suggested the building industry in the United Kingdom is set to grow steadily over the next 5 years. The review looked at whether vocational qualifications for the construction industry meet the needs of employers and learners. Its findings concluded that:

  • Even with more than 400 qualifications in the sector, there are sometimes gaps in what is offered or at least not enough information is provided on the scope of what is offered. Often limiting the construction sector to traditional Trades and Labour roles
  • They do not sufficiently cover some new technologies or reflect changes in the industry, such as AI, working equipment and working practices
  • Construction students leaving further education colleges were often not ready for the workplace, lacked on-site experience or an understanding of the working environment
  • Jobs in vocational trades are often viewed as a "poor relation" to academic qualifications

The study from CITB, said new qualifications were needed to provide a "clear route" for young people at 16 moving into apprenticeships as soon as possible, because employers wanted them to be able to learn skills on the job.


"If we can't get the workforce, obviously work can't be done," he said.

"We quite often change the way we build a project or the materials we're going to use in line with the skills that are available."

Earlier this month the Government announced that building up the Construction industry was a priority, with 150,000 UK construction jobs to be added in five years. The latest forecast by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) estimated an annual average growth rate of 1.3% year on year with regional areas often showing a greater amount of growth and prosperity within this same 5 year forecast.

Further results show that Construction work rose to £12 Million on average monthly spend with 75% of this being costed to New Works projects. This shows that we must start educating students on the opportunities that will continue to grow within the Construction industry.


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