Help Shape the Future of Construction in Greater Essex

Construction Skills Event

Growth and Opportunity

Greater Essex has a huge range of opportunities in construction trades and professions over the coming years. With well-paid, skilled and increasingly technical job opportunities in a wide range of trades and professions. A skilled workforce will help the area’s growth aspirations and leave a legacy for future generations. Spending on new construction projects of more than £1.9 billion per year is expected for the foreseeable future. To meet this anticipated demand a peak construction workforce of around 65,720 people is required in 2019 increasing to more than 67,000 in 2022.

The Event

The ‘Help Shape the Future of Construction Skills in Greater Essex’ event saw over 50 industry representatives and partners, including FE, come together to review the draft ‘CITB Construction Demand and Skills Analysis for Essex’.

Guests heard presentations on the opportunities arising from the North Essex Garden Communities; the South Essex Construction Training Agency; I-construct; and heard about the wider Skills issues across the South Essex Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Demand and Skills Analysis

The main feature was a presentation from the CITB of the findings from their construction demand and skills analysis for Essex. This highlighted:

  • High demand occupations
  • At risk occupations
  • Priority occupations
  • Training and education gaps and provision

The report proposes recommendations that include:

  1. Strengthen existing, and develop new, collaborative partnerships. With a view to building holistic action plans and encouraging local stakeholders to work together and input to, and take ownership of, the construction skills actions.
  2. Review the Essex area construction skills strategy and action plan reporting on progress made since 2016 and identifying new collective actions and solutions that may be required in and across the area.
  3. Develop skills and training pathways for current needs and develop future skills. Ensure training is appropriate for local needs and businesses. Develop GREATER ESSEX area construction training so that it is appropriate for the needs of the construction industry and local circumstances, addressing risks of supply shortfalls.
  4. Outreach. Build a more positive image of construction locally with young people. Increase recruitment through new entrance points, career changes and reskilling. Emphasise that construction offers high value rewarding careers for all.
  5. Use procurement as a lever to enable positive action. Develop smarter approaches to procurement to encourage wider contract award inclusivity of small and medium sized employers. With those tendering for construction and infrastructure contracts or those funding developments to be mandated to include provision for recruitment, training, apprenticeships and outreach.

Visit our sector page to access the full report and slides from the event.

Event Outcomes

In tables guests examined the report recommendations and were invited to join thematical groups (committees), as a platform for the sector, to continue working together to understand and address key concerns and barriers that the sector faces.  These concerns and actions will be championed at LEP level, providing a voice for industry and skills, influencing funding and direction. The new thematical committees include:

  • Future Skills
  • All Age Career Pathways
  • Inclusion and Diversity
  • Maximising Investment

Industry and key partners are invited to join the first committee meetings scheduled for the 2nd May 2019.