A NEW CHALLENGE FOR THE CCATF IN 2012
Beatrice Orchard, CCATF Co-ordinator
In January, the Construction Skills Network (CSN) publishes its annual forecasts to help us all understand the industry’s current and future skills and training needs. Geoff Lister, CCATF Chairman reports.
With this in mind, in 2012 the CCATF will be working against a set of agreed targets in order to help increase the number of apprenticeship opportunities and ensure we are protected against skills shortages in the near future.
The most recent CSN forecasts cover the period from 2012-2016 and provide a useful insight into the some of the changes we can expect over the next few years. No one will be hugely surprised to see that total construction employment is currently in decline. The CSN report shows that construction employment in 2012 is expected to be 2,479,010 down from 2,518,560 in 2010. However, total employment is expected to increase in this period rising to 2,599,260 in 2016. There is growth expected in most trades including plasterers, plant operatives and plumbers as well as carpenters, civil engineers and surveyors. These forecasts highlight the continued importance of ensuring the industry has a constant flow of people learning the skills necessary to meet the growth in demand. The final CSN report will also contain an annual recruitment requirement, which predicts the average number of new people needed by the construction sector.
A Pathway to Construction pilot was launched in Plymouth (Pathway to Construction is a pre-apprenticeship work experience programme)
RAISING THE PROFILE OF APPRENTICESHIPS
In the next year, all members of the CCATF will be working towards the new objectives which include raising the profile of apprenticeships, ensuring the CCATF membership is fully inclusive of the entire construction industry, influencing the government agenda on technical apprenticeships at levels 4,5 and 6, turning the Pathway to Construction scheme into a best-practice preapprenticeship programme and working with CITB-ConstructionSkills and industry to produce a revised agreement for all construction apprentices.
The specialist sector, trade associations will be setting their own targets to increase the number of apprentices in certain specialist trades and the major contractors are lobbying the Government hard to improve the funding situation for 19+ apprenticeships.
(Back row L to R) Mike Coleman (City of Bristol College), Geoff Lister (CCATF), Ron Willers (FMB), Geoff White (FMB Bristol Branch) and Keith Watkins (ConstructionSkills) (Front row L to R) Dawn Morgan and Vanessa Wilmut both of ConstructionSkills
PATHWAY TO CONSTRUCTION SCHEME
Meanwhile, FMB members are being encouraged to participate in the Pathway to Construction scheme, which will help young people studying on full-time construction based courses to find employment and help businesses looking to work with enthusiastic young people that have already started to learn essential employability and craft skills. FMB members in Bristol are currently working with the City of Bristol College in order to provide a number of Pathway to Construction placements, and the scheme is being championed by FMB South West Regional Director, Ron Willers.
Finally, following the recent announcement from the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, that small employers will receive £1,500 for taking on an apprentice, the CCATF will also continue to work with the Government to encourage further incentives and support available for small businesses for hiring an apprentice.