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UK government commits to £22 million Construction Skills Fund
In an attempt to bridge the skills gap in the construction sector, the UK government has committed to creating a £22 million Construction Skills Fund. The fund will allow training to take place on 20 construction sites in the UK, giving construction workers the opportunity to learn and hone their skills in real life situations.
Skills minister Anne Milton believes that investing in the Construction Skills Fund will help to “bridge the gap between training and working in the industry, meaning trainees are site-ready sooner.”
Why is the fund needed?
The skills gap in construction is one of particular concern, according to those who are currently working in the sector. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that the skills gap in construction is at its highest level since 2007 and 60% of their survey respondents believe that the biggest constraint to growth in the construction sector is the lack of skilled workers.
Job opportunities in construction
With a number of exciting infrastructure projects in progress, construction professionals are in high demand. HS2 (High Speed Two), the proposed Heathrow airport expansion and Hinkley Point C are all going to require construction engineers. And with the UK government’s target of building 300,000 new homes every year between now and the mid-2020s, there’s plenty of work requiring these skills.
Stuart Minchin, Director of Buildings Recruitment at Matchtech, talks about the increasing need for skilled construction engineers in the UK:
“This investment in the construction sector by the government has come at the perfect time, as construction workers are going to be key to the delivery of the major infrastructure projects proposed and in play. Giving trainee architects, project managers, design engineers and other construction workers the opportunity to learn on site will help speed up their development and give them a chance to see how exciting a career in construction can be.”
To find out more about the Construction Skills Fund, click here.