21st century construction skills: Can innovation plug the skills gap?

The construction and property industries are of vital strategic importance to the UK economy: they are pillars of growth. Construction faces severe skills shortages that are hampering productivity and holding the industry, and by extension the country, back.

The Government seems certain that offsite construction will reduce our need for skilled workers now and post-Brexit. However, given the demand for domestic refurbishment work, and the UK’s high proportion of heritage buildings, others maintain that we will always require a high number of skilled construction workers.

This panel will ask how we can maximise the potential of offsite construction to make the construction industry more productive while also being realistic about its potential? How can we ensure we have enough people, of the right calibre but not of a homogenous culture and background entering our industry? What are the opportunities and challenges around the T Levels initiative? Why are construction apprenticeship starts falling and how can we encourage more employers to engage in apprenticeship training? Can the Apprenticeship Levy be reformed to ensure it works for industry, including small businesses in the supply chain?

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