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UKCW Blog

07 Feb 2024

INCREASED FOCUS ON SKILLS, TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT UK CONSTRUCTION WEEK LONDON

INCREASED FOCUS ON SKILLS, TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT UK CONSTRUCTION WEEK LONDON

UK Construction Week (UKCW) London has announced an even stronger focus on skills development, apprenticeships and training at this year’s show, including a live challenge featuring some of the world’s best in BIM digital construction; a new collaboration with the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board); and new show zones focused on skills, training, careers and recruitment.

UKCW’s own research has shown that careers advice, training and education are fundamental to encourage more young people to the construction industry - and to retain those already working in the sector.

A survey of over 1,100 people across the sector revealed that key barriers to young people pursuing a career in construction were seen as the industry being perceived as ‘dirty job’ (23%), lack of careers advice (19%), and the sector being seen as male-dominated (15%). The main barriers to people’s own advancement in construction were lack of training support from their employer (18%); poor careers advice (18%); and lack of funding (17%).

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Features, events and new areas at this year’s UKCW London with a focus on skills development and training include:

The Worldskills BIM challenge will run across all three days of UKCW London (7-9 May 2024 at ExCeL) and feature Isabelle Barron - who won gold at last year’s EuroSkills competition in Gdańsk, Poland - alongside competitors from China, Korea, Hong Kong, France and Ireland, many of whom will be competing in the Worldskills World Finals in Lyon in September.

The new Skills and Training Hub at UKCW London is a first-time collaboration with the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), which will address the Skills Shortage head-on with a three-day programme featuring a myriad of talks and workshops to support skills development within the industry and ultimately, build better. 

While Days 1 and 2 will have a skills/training focus, Day 3 will focus on careers and be aimed predominantly at students. Events and workshops will cover a myriad topics including:

  • Future-proofing skills 

  • The Human influence on Sustainable Organisations

  • Innovation and creativity in construction culture

  • Apprenticeships and vocational training

  • Diversity and inclusion in construction

  • Future trends in construction careers

Danny Clarke, Head of Engagement at the CITB, commented: “Having attended, exhibited and spoken at UK Construction Week over the past few years, it is the natural fit for me to continue to showcase all that the CITB has to offer construction companies and educational partners to support their people with skills and training.

“The CITB is the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland, and Wales. It's our job to help the construction industry attract talent and to support skills development, to build a better Britain and this event is part of that strategic delivery.”

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Another new area at UKCW London will be the Careers and Recruitment Zone - created in response to exhibitor and visitor feedback, this will not only be a focal point for all those working in recruitment, or simply looking for that next new role. Visitors will have face to face access to specialist recruiters from the construction sector, with discreet interview rooms allowing candidates to have onsite consultations. Confirmed exhibitors include national accreditation body UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service), Government of Western Australia, Anglia Ruskin University and UCAS (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

 

Sam Patel, UKCW event director, commented: “Skills development, training and recruitment are all fundamental to the future of the construction sector - and that includes changing perceptions and highlighting the breadth of opportunities available.

“Our increased focus on these areas at UKCW London reflects the need for career advice, training and development that are so vital to both those already working in the sector and those who are looking to begin their careers.”

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