We welcome the Department for Education’s Skills for Jobs White Paper – which we believe could be a ‘golden chance’ to boost diversity in our sector.
We have worked with a number of leading industry groups over recent years to launch initiatives aiming to boost diversity in the sector, as well as launching the West Midlands Training Academy to build skills regionally.
The DfE announcement represents a key step forward as the construction industry strives to become a more diverse and inclusive sector.
The plan is said to ‘ensure everyone, no matter where they live or their background, can gain the skills they need to progress in work at any stage of their lives’ while placing employers ‘at the heart of the skills system’.
Nick Jones, Managing Director at Fortel Group, said: “As the industry looks to build back better over the next few years, we need to make more people aware of the variety of attractive career opportunities available within this sector.
“To do that, people have to believe that there are opportunities out there that they fit the bill for.
“Perhaps the most important initiative in the paper is that people can be supported to begin their construction career at any age; it’s not just an entry-level scheme for younger people starting out.
“The Department for Education’s plans represent a golden chance to boost diversity, which we recognise contributes to increased productivity, positive social cohesion and the generation of fresh and innovative ideas, across the construction sector and many others.”
The Skills for Jobs White Paper has been released as the Prime Minister launches a new Build Back Better Business Council, which will see business leaders work directly with the Government to fuel the Covid-19 economic recovery.
Nick said: “The importance of the construction industry to the UK business infrastructure and economy has been highlighted throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, with work able to continue in a safe and responsible manner.
“We have seen incredible and rapid collaboration between businesses to ensure Coronavirus controls and safety measures are devised and instigated, including our own Protect People Everywhere awareness campaign.
“Collaboration sits at the heart of our work and we continue to drive our business vision and solutions forward to influence economic recovery both regionally and nationally.”