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Averting the construction skills crisis: a regional approach
journal contributionposted on 26.03.2009, 13:48 by Andrew R.J. Dainty, Stephen G. Ison, David S. Root
The East Midlands construction industry is currently suffering from a severe skills shortage across its craft, professional and managerial occupations. The lack of available capacity within the regional labour market coupled with the poor image of the sector, call into question the industry’s ability to cope with the levels of new orders and output growth predicted over the next few years. In this paper, it is argued that the casualised nature of the industry’s labour market has rendered national, ‘top-down’ labour market policy measures ineffective in addressing the industry’s skills concerns. This hypothesis has been explored through research that canvassed the opinions of key industry stakeholders as to the actions necessary to avert the region’s skills crisis. This was achieved through a series of focus groups and workshops involving over 150 individuals with a vested interest in the region’s construction skills situation. The insights emerging from the analysis suggested that bespoke regional and sub-regional labour market policies are required to avert the current skills shortage. The recommendations provided by the participants were used as the basis for a strategic package of measures that are currently being implemented across the region’s five counties. This strategy aims to join-up hitherto disparate labour market measures within a single centrally coordinated framework. Nevertheless, overcoming the industry’s fragmented structure remains an obstacle to resolving successfully the East Midlands’ construction skills shortage.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering