8 January 2016

With the Government committing to 13,000 new homes and national reports that the industry is recovering, 2016 could be the year for a revival in the construction industry. But only if we find the skilled workforce to support it.

Yesterday (7 January), BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme revealed that almost half a million homes in the UK have received planning permission but have not yet been built, with critics citing a slower process of building and a shortage in skilled labour as the cause, as the industry faces its biggest skills shortage for almost 20 years.

The end of 2015 saw further expansion in construction activity after a slowly growing year and a brief seven-month low in November. But while the Government has responded positively to the industry’s needs with a £12bn boost to infrastructure and the promise of work for small and medium sized firms, the issue of skills shortage remains a prevalent and widely-reported problem.

Can 2016 be the year for reviving the construction industry? We believe so – but firstly we need to tackle the industry’s image problem and encourage more young people into Entry Level roles. KPMG announced at the end of last year that 2016 is the year to invest in construction, not only in processes and technology, but also in people. Which means ensuring the future workforce has access to high-quality vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.

Careers in this industry are hands-on with plenty of work experience available and various progression routes with promising salaries for those who make a career out of it. Particularly as highly skilled workers remain in short supply, the careers prospects for learners willing to work hard will certainly reap the benefits, both in demand and in pay.

There are also a range of opportunities available in the construction industry, from commercial building to housing, including bricklaying, plastering, plumbing and landscaping, and all career routes can begin at Entry Level.

At ABC Awards, we can support you to expand your current building and construction qualification offer or help you to start from scratch. We offer qualifications from Entry Level to Level 2 which can also contribute to apprenticeships and traineeships in the construction sector.

Learners new to the industry can start with the Entry Level Award in Practical Construction Skills (Entry 3) which offers a broad introduction to construction, or can specialise in the following areas:

  • Brickwork
  • Carpentry and joinery
  • Painting and decorating
  • Plastering
  • Plumbing

Learners can proceed to Level 1 in each of these specialities and further their skills base by continuing to complete a Level 2 qualification in building heritage, building services engineering, electrical installation, heating and ventilation, or plumbing. Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications are also available in landscaping and creating interiors.

Crucially, ABC Awards also offers the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment, which must be completed in order for learners to gain their CSCS Labour Card (Green Card) for access to construction sites as a non-skilled worker.

Following reports at the end of last year by the BBC that indicated some awarding organisations’ Centres had fraudulently been offering this qualification in return for money, we would like to reassure you that no ABC Awards Centres have been involved in this activity.

You can find out more information about the Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment by clicking here, or visit the building and construction section of our website to view all of our qualifications in this sector.

If you would like to speak to someone from our team about becoming an ABC Awards Centre for building and construction or expanding your current offer, please contact Centre Support by calling 0115 854 1620 or by emailing centresupport@abcawards.co.uk.