More than thirty-five organisations join forces to bridge construction skills gap for over 350 students :: Bishop Burton College

More than thirty-five organisations join forces to bridge construction skills gap for over 350 students

With an estimated 16,000 new construction jobs on the horizon in Yorkshire and the Humber over the next 5 years*, Hull-based construction firm Hobson and Porter has launched a scheme in partnership with Bishop Burton College to bridge the construction skills shortage and raise awareness of what the construction industry has to offer.

Foundations, a scheme in which businesses will pledge resources, services and experience to people wishing to pursue a career in construction, was launched by Hobson & Porter at the ‘Foundations Live 2016’ event held at the Bishop Burton College Construction Workshop on Wednesday, October 5th. The event was held in collaboration with Jewson’s and Bishop Burton College, with more than 35 trade stands from across the construction industry exhibiting and sharing careers advice with students of all ages.

Foundations Live 2016 saw more than 350 students from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire visit the event to speak first hand to Hobson & Porter, Jewson and their industry partners to learn further about the industry. Visitors to the event included year 4 primary school pupils from St James’ Church of England Academy, secondary pupils from Sirius Academy North & West and more than eighty construction pupils from North Lindsey college in Scunthorpe.

Hobson & Porter has engaged various manufacturers, suppliers, trades and consultants who have agreed to support the Foundations programme over the next academic year, in which they will pledge to support in the form of professional resources, knowledge and construction materials to support skills and training in construction.  

The concept of Foundations is to provide inspiration and awareness, informing people from all walks of life to take up careers in construction and see the dozens of potential career paths the industry has to offer. By engaging professionals from across the construction industry, the scheme aims to build long-term careers in the construction. Hull Children’s University, Bishop Burton College, Driffield School and Emmaus Hull and East Riding are principal beneficiaries of the scheme during the 2016/17 academic year, with the bank of good provided by Foundations partners distributed equally amongst the educational partners.

Hobson & Porter Business Development Director Dave Blades said: “As the construction skills gap continues to grow, it is necessary that we address this and work with our partners and supply chain to inspire people from all walks of life to consider a career in construction. GoConstruct estimate a growth rate in the industry of 2.5% each year for the next five year, equating to a quarter-of-a-million new roles on a national level, which could mean 16,000 new roles to fill in Yorkshire and the Humber alone*. We all need to play our part in ensuring the industry can meet this demand.

“Foundations, however, is not simply about inspiration. It is about the collaboration with our education partners to provide hands-on experience for construction students and people looking to take up a career, spanning the gap between education and industry.

“Our partners and our supply chain businesses recognise this, which is why we have already seen a fantastic reception to the Foundations scheme.

“The first Foundations Live event was an enormous success and we already planning our 2017 event”.

Jeanette Dawson OBE, Chief Executive and Principal at Bishop Burton College, said: “Employability sits at the core of our curriculum so we’re particularly proud to be part of the Foundations Programme and to have hosted the first ever Foundations Live event.

“By being part of this initiative, our construction and engineering students benefit from hands-on, practical training alongside major employers in the region; helping them to develop the skills needed for industry.

Mrs Dawson added; “With 97 per cent of our students progressing in to employment or further study within six months of completing a course, its pleasing to see that these students are already thinking about their next steps.”