Priestley Construction head of construction, Rob Pell, is keen to see an improvement in training across the sector, believing this is key to ensure that the industry can meet demand.
He recently discussed the issue with the CIOB’s magazine, Construction Manager.
Reflecting on his time in the industry, he told the respected publication: “I have worked in the industry for 40 years, so it goes without saying I’ve seen countless challenges – from endless housing shortages to the 2008 recession and now Brexit.
“People are the key to meeting these head-on. But the onus is on companies to put in the effort to attract talent, impart the necessary skills, and retain the people you’ve invested in.”
Rob went on to suggest that a complete overhaul in skills training and apprenticeships is necessary. He commented: “Our apprenticeship schemes need to be radically overhauled. There’s a focus on fast-tracking young people through training to get them on site as soon as possible. This misses the point entirely – we end up with a raft of young people who don’t have a broader awareness of how the industry operates day-to-day.
“I recommend a two to three-year scheme, similar to degree education, with onsite training at a single company at its core. This will create continuity and attract higher calibre applicants – our future leaders.”