Construction leadership council: Future skills report


Today the Construction Leadership Council’s Skills Workstream has published its influential Future Skills Report which follows a wide ranging consultation exercise with a range of industry bodies, client organisations, the University of Cambridge, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and a large number of construction delivery organisations, including Laing O’Rourke.

This is a critical time for the industry: we are on the cusp of one of the greatest programmes of construction in history with a pipeline of more than £600bn - but we face significant challenges around skills, with 30% of the construction workforce set to retire in the next decade and the end to Freedom of Movement.    

The report put forwards three clear actions for industry:   

1.    Direct employment  

With such a fragmented industry and high proportion of micro-businesses construction has suffered from underinvestment in training and development. We call for clients to agree a code of employment where those who contribute to a project are directly employed, thereby ensuring it is in the employer’s best interest to train their staff and benefit from their improved productivity.

2.    Encourage Smart Construction     

Create an environment where Smart Construction methods are encouraged through early design and procurement processes, thereby creating the demand for skilled employees which in turn drives employers to invest in the training, Smart Construction techniques and behaviours.   

3.    Update construction training   

Industry qualifications and training content is updated to include Smart Construction techniques and behaviours with funding made available to accelerate adoption.   Alongside these actions the report outlines a series of different measures which the CLC will be using to track the progress of the industry.   

John O’Connor, Group Commercial Director at Laing O’Rourke and the report author said:   

“We welcome this cross-sector report which details a clear action plan to address our future skills need.  Ours is a changing industry and we must create careers that will appeal to people with skill sets not traditionally associated with construction.   

We need to bring digitally literate talent into our sector, who are committed to delivering projects in a virtual environment, integrated with an offsite manufacturing-led approach. These new skills will ensure we continue to innovate in a modern construction environment.”   

You can read the full report here.