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Contractors plan skills gap strategy

Major contractors have met their key subcontractors to find the best ways to use the 2012 Olympics to plug skills gaps.

More than 60 members of the Major Contractors Group and their supply chain partners met last week to discuss strategy in the run-up to the Games.

The MCG wants the Olympics to be able to present a lasting legacy to improve construction skills and give fresh impetus to plugging skills gaps.

Last week’s event was chaired by Costain chief executive Andrew Wyllie who said: “The commitment and willingness demonstrated was very encouraging. The MCG needs the support and co-operation of its supply chain partners to achieve our Olympic legacy commitments and, in turn, we recognise the need to help them in their efforts to provide training opportunities.”

Other speakers at the event included representatives from ConstructionSkills, Women and Manual Trades as well as the five Olympic host boroughs including Newham and Stratford.

As part of its Olympic pledges, the MCG companies have said they will make 1,000 job placements available to youngsters enrolling on construction courses in further education colleges. It will sponsor 50 under-graduates to obtain a construction-related degree.

MCG companies will also make available 1,000 training placements for local people over 21 who do not qualify for apprenticeship schemes.

Member companies, who include Olympic stadium builder Sir Robert McAlpine and -Bovis Lend Lease, the firm tasked with putting up the athletes’ village, will offer training to a further 500 people who have already entered the industry but want to upgrade their skills to NVQ Level 2.

Last week’s seminar established that MCG companies support supply chain partners in getting hold of funding for training as well as chief executives getting involved directly in the initiatives, in much the same way as the MCG’s high-profile efforts to get a fully carded workforce.