Facing up to Birmingham’s construction sector skills crisis

Birmingham’s employment landscape is fast evolving. Change has been essential for it to remain competitive on the Global stage, attract investment and deliver prosperity.

Sectors, such as industrial and manufacturing – once the employment backbone of the city, but in drastic decline since the 1980s – have been overtaken by new whiz kids on the block. Business and financial services, advanced engineering, IT, education, health and construction are now leading the charge for Birmingham.

However, the construction sector hasn’t quite stuck to the script and is facing something of a skills shortage meltdown. The demand for construction workers holding the necessary skills and qualifications across the city is outstripping supply. That is according to the Birmingham Skills Investment Plan: 2016 to 2026, which forecasts the industry will need to fill 80,000 job openings by 2022 – 65,000 alone for the build of HS2.

Furthermore, Brexit uncertainty has resulted in fewer overseas workers taking up employment positions in many of our major cities. This includes the construction industry, where migrant workers make up a large proportion of the workforce.

To help tackle the crisis, the industry and the UK Government are driving through the appointment of apprentices, a strategy we very much advocate.

There are currently 40 young people working across various stages of education and development within the business, but we have for some time wanted to deliver an improved learning experience for our apprentices.

As a result, we have invested in Birmingham Vocational College. This has enabled us to design our own NVQ L2 Civil Engineering Diploma, offer our apprentices 30% more tutor time and provide 10 high quality, locally-based apprentices to the company each year.

 Beyond apprenticeships we are currently providing our staff with full financial support towards BTEC, HNC, undergraduate and postgraduate level qualifications. We believe this approach sets the business and our colleagues in good stead for the future and will help mitigate potential repercussions following the UK’s exit from the EU.

So, if you’re creative, driven and love a challenge, M. Lambe Construction could be the place for your next career move. Complete the form below and send us your details or call us on 0121 554 2108.

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