The National Federation of Builders (NFB) put the spotlight on skills yesterday, when it hosted its members at the Houses of Parliament for a reception focused on ensuring the provision of quality support and improving access to training and talent are identified as top policy priorities.  

In a room full of a experts from all corners of the industry, from housebuilders and contractors to scaffolders and trainers, members were addressed by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the Rt Hon Gillian Keegan, MP. She commented, “I know that the construction industry has serious skills challenges and I know how important it is to educate people who take an out of date, short term, view about the careers offered by your sector.

“I understand that it (construction) offers great opportunities here and around the world. We need to make sure it is showcased in schools so that young people can see what’s available to them. I welcome the work that the NASC and NFB are doing to highlight how dynamic and rewarding construction can be.”

This reception was held as part of a joint initiative with the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC). Mark Wakeford, incoming Chair of the NFB, stated, “The reception highlighted the need for more skilled people within our two essential and allied sectors, and allowed us to make our case for a coordinated approach across Government to work with industry to enable access to our sector and to support professionalisation. We are confident that there are friends across Government and industry who will work together to help solve this national skills crisis.”

In respect of ensuring learners have employment security, Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB added: “Effective planning and procurement reform is also key to securing a strong pipeline of work so that employers can train and retain a new generation of learners and upskilled workers.”

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