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CLC and property expert to lead government skills review

The Construction Leadership Council and property expert Mark Farmer will lead a government-commissioned review of the sector’s labour model amid growing concerns about the skills shortage.

The review will gather evidence from the industry to assess the constraints slowing down housebuilding and infrastructure development across the country.

Alongside the report, construction minister Nick Boles and housing minister Brandon Lewis have also asked Mr Farmer and the CLC to develop an “action plan” to tackle the skills crisis.

The government turned to Mr Farmer, now chief executive of Cast Management Consultants, after he wrote a report along with former Arcadis colleague Simon Rawlinson that highlighted a lack of investment in skills.

The report, People and Money, focused largely on housebuilding, looking at the capacity challenge facing the construction industry. It found that the market provided insufficient incentives for companies to invest in skills.

It argued that lack of predictability in housing delivery had not given housebuilders or contractors the confidence to recruit and train staff.

Commenting on the launch of the new review, Midlands-based contractor Shaylor Group said the review was a welcome first step to sorting out a longstanding problem.

“We’ve found skills to be the biggest challenge,” the contractor’s regional manager, Lana Shayor, said.

“We have amazing people who are close to retirement and despite getting more young people involved, we’re constantly pushing to engage with schools.”

She added: “I’m personally very passionate about getting more girls into construction and think we can do a far better job promoting the vast range of roles on offer: we have to look far beyond industry clichés.

“The reality is that a lot of people think construction is not something you’d naturally go into – because there isn’t awareness of how wide-reaching it is.”

A new expert advisory panel will also be created to feed into the review.

The review will conclude in the spring.

CLC members

The government published a new list of CLC members in September last year.

Co-chairs
  • Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Sir David Higgins, High Speed Two (HS2)

Members

  • David Cash, (BDP)
  • Mike Chaldecott, (Saint Gobain)
  • Brian Morrisroe, (Morrisroe Construction)
  • Mike Putnam, (Skanska)
  • Simon Rawlinson, (Strategic Forum for Construction / EC Harris)
  • Madani Sow, (Bouygues UK)
  • Anna Stewart, (Laing O’Rourke)
  • Stephen Stone, (Crest Nicholson)
  • Andrew Wolstenholme, (Crossrail)
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Other government departments – agenda dependent

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