UK Construction Media

New Skills Hub Zone launched by North England Build 2016

News   •   Apr 11, 2016 14:01 BST

North England Build 2016 to launch new Skills Hub Zone as government make commitment to long-term infrastructure construction projects.

Following the Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement of the government’s new major commitment to construction projects, it is clear that improving infrastructure across the UK forms a major part of the government’s long-term strategy.

The Chancellor has given the go ahead for the £27Bn development of Crossrail 2 and also significant infrastructure projects across the North of England including HS3 between Leeds and Manchester, the widening of the M62, upgrades to the A66 and A69 in the North Pennines.

Due to the length of time these projects will take to finish, Crossrail is not due to complete until 2030, and will require the next generation of construction industry workers to take up the challenge of taking these projects to their conclusion.

The sheer number of projects and the employment opportunities these will create will bring into the focus the industry’s demand for skilled construction professionals.

It was recently revealed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) that there could be up to 22,500 jobs created in the North West by the end of the decade.

New research revealed during National Apprenticeship Week suggested apprenticeships and vocational training courses are increasing in popularity, with construction companies taking on apprenticeships up by a third on the previous year.

National Federation of Builders’ Chair for the North West region, Clare Watson, commented: “While it is important to maintain the skills needed to preserve our traditional buildings, it is equally important to keep an eye on skills needed for the future. There is a huge amount of talent in the North West.

“Improving transport and infrastructure will not only improve business prospects, it will increase social mobility and widen the opportunities available in construction for the next generation.”

With a renewed focus on creating jobs within the industry and a skilled workforce to support it, North England Build 2016 will be launching the new Skills Hub zone. The Skills Hub will see some of the UK’s leading universities, recruiters and construction companies come together to give students, those looking to switch careers and job seekers with the chance to meet and network with industry insiders offering the best possible advice for a career in construction.

Francesca Berriman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and official partner of North England Build 2016, commented: “The skills necessary now, and in the future, to sustain the Government programme of construction work provides the industry the opportunity to showcase the variety of careers available within the built environment/construction sector; the industry is a dynamic and innovative one to choose and as such CIAT is delighted to be supporting the Skills Zone Launch. “The discipline of Architectural Technology is a young, creative, vibrant and exciting one and a respected career to choose. It provides practitioners the chance to lead projects from the initial design to the final sign-off of a completed building; that is a real achievement.”