INCA Executive Chairman, Mitch Gee
Bridge into Construction Launches at Sheffield College
On the 28th September 2017, I attended the launch of a new education programme, Bridge into Construction at Sheffield College. The programme is the result of a partnership between Build UK and Collab Group, which represent leading colleges. The objective is to increase the number of young people entering the construction industry. Ian Pretty, CEO of Collab Group, clearly expressed how important the construction industry is to the UK economy. It is worth a staggering £90 billion and employs 2.93 million people. Therefore, it is vital to get our training right!
With skills shortages, Brexit looming and the reduction in the availability of migrant labour (combined with the ticking time bomb that is the aging demographic of our industry), construction has been ‘crying out’ for a solution! Bridge into Construction is a course that will produce college leavers with a holistic knowledge of construction. This will allow them to make an informed decision about whether it’s for them and which element they wish to pursue.
The course provides an opportunity to get a basic understanding of all aspects of construction, including design, trade skills and facility management. Not only will college leavers gain an appreciation of the industry, they will also get the opportunity to develop their numeracy and literacy skills. Furthermore, the course aims to make students ‘work ready’, with a view to gaining an apprenticeship or job.
At the launch, Susannah Nichol, Chief Executive of build UK, passionately communicated the need for the best young people to enter construction, and come out of college “oven ready” for the work place. The current construction opportunities are fragmented and confusing for the potential employer, which the Bridge into Construction programme addresses. It is important that we open up the doors of our companies to young people, so they are able to sample what is required of them when they enter the work place.
The pilot scheme starts in October 2017 at Sheffield College and South Thames College and is set to roll out across the country to over 300 colleges. If you require further information or wish to get involved please contact INCA.