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Tue August 16 2022

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Corby event provides blueprint for construction industry and local government relations

15 Dec 10 Local authority representatives from across the East Midlands met with some of the region’s top business people and construction industry leaders in Corby, Northamptonshire, today to explore ways to support increased growth and the creation of sustainable local jobs within the construction and built environment sector.

The ‘Builders’ Breakfast’ event – hosted by Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board, CITB-ConstructionSkills in partnership with the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and Corby Borough Council – is the first in a series of events across the UK looking to address key issues affecting the local economic revival of the construction and built environment sector and highlighting the future skills time-bomb the industry faces.

The East Midlands needs over 4,100 new trained and qualified construction and built environment recruits each year to 2015 to fulfil the region’s order books, according to the Construction Skills Network.* Today’s event, which took place at Corby’s new civic centre, the Cube – a shining example of the growth, jobs and regeneration partnership between local government and the construction industry can create – has built on existing public and private sector relationships across the East Midlands to find new and progressive ways of working to drive growth and provide more sustainable local jobs through the sector.

The event took place in response to the coalition Government’s new ‘localism’ agenda and devolution of responsibility for delivering economic growth and job creation to local communities, through the establishment of Local Enterprise Partnerships and other initiatives. The event highlighted the importance of the construction and built environment sector to local growth across the East Midlands and encouraged new ways of working between participants to ensure future skills needs for the sector can be fully understood and met.

Mike Bialyj, Employer Services Director of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “Of all towns in all regions, the local authority and employers of Corby know the importance of a close working relationship. There is already some very good partnership work underway here that has driven the town’s regeneration. Indeed, this is evidenced extremely well by the building which hosted the first of our Builders’ Breakfasts, the stunning Corby Cube Civic Centre, and broader Parkland Gateway area regeneration – a strong example of partnership work between the public and private sectors that will lead to future growth and sustainable jobs for the people of Corby.

“Now more than ever we need to ensure the continued development of strong partnerships between local government and the construction and built environment sector locally across the UK, as a key driver for economic recovery and sustainable jobs creation as we move on from the recession.

“There needs to be a joint effort on all fronts, particularly when it comes to addressing skills shortages in our sector by ensuring the industry can deliver sustainable local jobs by providing the right skills in the right place at the right time to meet the industry’s needs.”

CITB-ConstructionSkills will be doing all it can to support local authorities and local employers respond to demands within the construction and built environment sector and associated skills needs in their area – from supporting the development of policy and strategy through our Labour Market Intelligence; to raising awareness of new future skills needs, through initiatives such as our ‘Cut the Carbon’ campaign; to providing practical on the ground training and apprenticeship places for thousands entering or ‘upskilling’ in the sector.

Andy Sawford, Chief Executive of LGiU commented: “Every local council should work closely with the construction industry to support economic growth and plan for the future.  Councils like Corby are leading the way in developing strong local partnerships and working with local education and training providers to make sure that there is a skilled local construction workforce.   

Our aim is to take their experience, and examples of good practice from across the UK, and share it will all councils, so that partnerships and understanding of the construction industry and construction skills are high on the agenda in every community.”

Alfred Buller, the principal of Bee Bee Developments added: “We need to bring local authorities and employers in the construction and built environment sector closer together in stimulating opportunities for growth in the industry, as we recover from recession. Events such as these are important in helping us to unearth a best practice model that works for us.”

Corby was selected as the location of the first Builders’ Breakfast due to its importance as a key growth area recovering from the decline of its traditional steel industry – with a fast growing population – set to double in size by 2031 – that will require much needed skills over the coming years.

The Builders’ Breakfast events are a key part of CITB-ConstructionSkills’ drive to deliver the right skills, in the right time, at the right place for the UK’s construction and built environment industry.

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