Earlier this month the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) launched it’s Pathway Into Construction programme, designed to fill the skills gap that will face the UK post-Brexit.

The construction industry in the UK is growing and the scheme’s aim is to attract those from non-traditional and diverse backgrounds to help provide a larger workforce. Currently, around 2 million people work in the sector; only 16% of these are women and only 7% come from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

The £10M scheme has been set up to attract people from underrepresented groups into the industry over the next three years.

How does the scheme aim to attract underrepresented groups?

A number of recruitment pathways have been designed to attract diversity. Investment has been made in colleges, construction companies and federations to help them attract new learners. Through the scheme, infrastructure projects, councils, housing associations, armed forces organisations, charities, prisons, recruiters and training providers across England, Wales and Scotland will be encouraged to connect employers with people who traditionally wouldn’t enter the industry.

Who are the groups being targeted?

  • Young people not in education, training or work
  • The long-term unemployed
  • Service leavers
  • Women wishing to join construction
  • Full-time learners (particularly those studying for construction and built environment diplomas).

Nationwide schemes

The ‘Women Into Construction’ initiative has been set up in the West Midlands and East Anglia is one of the schemes. 30 companies (half of them SMEs) have been targeted to assist 240 women with work-related support and job placements.

In Wales, ‘Creating Enterprise’ will run work-readiness courses and placements for more than 140 long-term unemployed people, giving them careers support plans for the future, and the ‘Community Impact Initiative’ will provide nine renovation projects to give around 70 women vital on-site work experience enabling them to seek long-term employment in the industry.

In Scotland, Sibbald will target 180 service leavers and young people not in education, training or employment within the North Glasgow area, in partnership with Glasgow Kelvin College, TIGERS Ltd, Keepmoat and Morgan Sindall to offer training and experience within the building sector.

Stephen Cole, CITB Head of Careers Strategy, said: “With thousands of jobs being created in the coming years, Pathways Into Construction will demonstrate that we need to stop fishing in only half the pond and diversify the talent pool to meet future skills needs.

“We’ll explore the best routes, which employers can adopt in future, to bring under-represented groups into the industry, not only filling the skills gap but also supporting employers by recruiting domestic talent with Brexit on the horizon.”

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