Home » Investment in digital construction skills falling short, finds new report

Investment in digital construction skills falling short, finds new report

by Sion Geschwindt
Investment in digital construction skills falling short, finds new report

The British Association of Construction Heads (BACH) has launched a new research report ‘Position on Resources and Equipment for Modern Digital Construction’. 

BACH surveyed its members to try to gain an insight of the scale of the challenges they are facing in up-skilling the construction workforce.

BACH members have been reporting significant concerns over the availability of adequate funding to match the investment needed as well as the difficulties in recruiting and retaining suitably experienced tutors and assessors.

The research survey, which took place at the end of 2021 and early 2022, has identified the following findings:

  • Nearly three quarters of colleges report that investment levels, in equipment to support the new digital SMART technologies and modern methods, needed to increase or in the case of 12% were completely inadequate;
  • Only 36% of colleges consider that there is enough expenditure available for materials and course content to successfully delivery training;
  • Staff vacancy rates are quoted as varying across the country from 10% to 40%; with most colleges stating vacancy rates are 15 to 25%; and
  • Colleges are having to offer improved packages, golden hello’s, market supplements and higher pay in the range of 10% to 30%.

According to BACH, the construction industry faces a major skill shortage following Brexit, particularly in skilled trades and occupations, with the added pressure to up-skill the workforce to support more productive modern SMART methods, green skills, and off-site manufacturing.

According to the report, it is vital to begin to substantially increase investment in training for new digital methods of working as well as off-site manufacturing, on-site assembly skills, and green skills.

Graham Hasting-Evans, President of BACH and Chief Executive of NOCN commented on the findings: “The combined challenge of skills gaps and also the need to re-skill the workforce for SMART modern methods, off-site manufacturing and green skills is enormous.

“We cannot do this without substantial additional investment in equipment, materials and all importantly our tutors and assessors. And let’s remember we cannot train the workforce until we’ve first of all trained the trainers and assessors.”

Download the full report

Image credit: winnievinzence/Shutterstock

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