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Site manager shortage sparks training review

A severe shortage of trained site managers has prompted CITB-ConstructionSkills to revive a specialist course to overcome the problem.
A study by Stephen Gruneberg, from Reading University's school of construction management and engineering, found a lack of formal training provision for site managers despite their key industry role.

He estimates that 11,300 new site managers are needed in the industry every year. But only around 500 annually are trained on courses run by the Chartered Institute of Building and the National House Building Council.

At a Construction Labour Research seminar in London last week, Dr Gruneberg said: 'It is likely that site management training falls far short of the numbers needed to maintain the numbers required.

'Training of site managers in the UK therefore seems to be on an ad hoc or informal basis in spite of the importance of their position in the building process.'

CITB-ConstructionSkills commissioned Dr Gruneberg's study into the site management course which ran at the National Construction College at Bircham Newton until the late 1990s.

The 18-module course covered elements from site organisation and communication to contract law and quality assurance.

Following high approval ratings from the industry clients and training providers contacted by Dr Gruneberg, the organisation is now looking at reviving it.

A CITB-ConstructionSkills spokesman said: 'We are looking at reintroducing the site management course but it is still in the developmental phase and we haven't finalised all the details yet.'

Ivor Williams, the former secretary of the European Construction Institute, has just completed a study for the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board which found that poor site management was a major factor in low productivity.

He told the seminar: 'This shows a laissez faire approach to training which this country has adopted over the last 20 years. The Belgians have the best site productivity in Europe and they also have the best site management.'

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