The FMB London Board are extremely concerned about the current construction skills crisis in the capital. If we are to meet the challenging goal of zero carbon by 2030 we are going to need young people to see the real value of taking up a career in our sector. That’s why we are delighted that Geoff Osborne, Principal at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College, has agreed to join the Board as a co-opted member.

Geoff will be able to give the Board real insight into the challenges he faces as an educator. FMB London Director, Sam Eden, caught up with Geoff to get his view on some of the key issues in construction education.

  1. What type of construction education does your school teach?

We teach a range of construction programmes including Multi-Trades, Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Bench Joinery, Site Carpentry and Painting and Decorating. The Multi-Trades programme is our most popular as many students want to try everything before they commit.

  1. Why should young people start a career in construction?

The industry has made significant progress in terms of its image and promotion of careers in construction. Most young people do not fully appreciate the range of careers and the opportunities for progression within the sector. The work is varied, exciting and rewarding. We just need to give young people more access to the industry. 

  1. How do we attract the next generation into this sector?

The opportunities for experiential work are imperative. Young people often join a construction programme and soon get disillusioned when they haven’t got immediate access to employers and the workplace. Believe it or not, young people do actually want to work. If the apprenticeship levy was used to create the small opportunities to access the industry, we could make inroads to the recruitment crisis. 

  1. What is the biggest challenge you face as an educator?

We need to explore more flexible approaches to training and development of young people. Rather than trying to replicate the past with day or block release provision, let’s try something new. Let’s be more flexible to enable SMEs to access the potential workforce that is in colleges.

  1. What do you hope to achieve whilst working with the FMB?

A partnership that truly tackles the skills shortage and gets young people into work.

Campaigning for skill and training in construction

Local SME builders are responsible for training 71% of apprentices in the UK contruction industry and are key to plugging the skills shortage. The FMB are campaigning for a greater access to training and a general builder apprenticeship standard – find out more below.

Skills and training

Skills and training

We are committed in helping members invest in the future workforce by taking on and training apprentices.

Read more about our campaign


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