Here at Safety Fabrications we’ve been bringing you information about the skills gap that is currently having an adverse effect on the UK construction industry for quite some time. Apprenticeships, as we’ve already said, are being seen as a cost effective and methodical approach to dealing with the skills gap and providing the sector with the skilled workers it will need to keep Britain at the forefront of construction and, hopefully, kick start a stagnant economy. According to the Roofing Industry Alliance (RIA), the roofing sector has seen an increase in the number of apprentices in recent years, but the organisation is questioning whether enough is being done by the industry to attract enough apprentices to satisfy future demand.
Roofing naturally involves working at height using access equipment like ladders, scaffolding, walkways and fall protection solutions such as fall protection posts. It is, undoubtedly, one of the riskiest sectors in the construction industry in which to work and falls from height remain one of the major causes of fatalities and serious injuries in the workplace, despite the strict health and safety at work legislation we enjoy here in the UK.
The roofing industry is experiencing enormous pressure to fill the skills gap and, with an aging workforce, it’s doubtful whether the supply of new roofing workers is coming in fast enough to meet future requirements in the sector. An increasing number of roofing companies are wanting to take on apprentices and offers some great training opportunities to youngsters in a range of roofing disciplines, including:
· Applied liquid roofing and single ply roofing
· Heritage roofing work
· Lead work
· Hard metal and the building envelope.
With a dearth of careers advice available in schools, roofing is often neglected as an option and the industry is looking for a fresh approach to attract more youngsters into the roofing sector at a time when they are desperately needed.
GoConstruct is an industry wide initiative that has been established to attract, inform and retain a talented workforce for the construction and Built Environment sector which is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The GoConstruct website showcases a full range of construction disciplines and offers a simple skills matching tool that can be used to explore different areas of the construction industry in a fun way that is aimed at attracting the younger generation.
The RIA has been actively involved in the design of the GoConstruct website, supplying relevant and up to date information on careers in roofing in a bid to deliver topical and interesting advice in a format designed to be attractive to youngsters who have grown up in the Digital Age.
The CITB has also established the Construction Ambassador Programme to provide the resources and training necessary to help employers become construction ambassadors and support young people in their career choices within the sector.
With so many initiatives in place that are intended to stimulate the interest of youngsters to consider a career in construction, the industry is encouraging stakeholders to do their part and take an active role in making construction a viable career option.