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Wed May 12 2021

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Laing O’Rourke skills plan calls for direct employment

28 Nov 16 Leading contractor Laing O’Rourke has called for an end to labour-only subcontracting in the construction industry and a move to direct employment of the workforce.

The Laing O’Rourke report
The Laing O’Rourke report

It also wants to see the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) merge with the Engineering Construction Training Board and play a bigger role.

These are among the recommendations in a report out today that Laing O’Rourke has produced called: A 10-point plan to overcome the UK’s construction & infrastructure skills gap.

Other recommendations include better careers advice in schools and more transparent reporting on workforce diversity

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 “The skills gap is one of the biggest challenges facing the construction and infrastructure sector,” the report says. “However too much of the focus to date has been on analysing the underlying problems of the skills gap with insufficient emphasis on the solutions necessary to bridge it.”

The company described its own direct employment of skilled workers as “business critical and a pivotal aspect of our strategy”.

It added: “Our direct employment model is mutually reinforcing: our employees enjoy continuity of work, benefits and investment in their ongoing development and we benefit from an engaged and retained workforce. This model and culture is focussed, sustainable and long-term.”

Laing O’Rourke’s 10-point plan to close the skills gap:

  1. Flex the government’s planned Apprenticeship Levy and reduce delays to approval of ‘Trailblazer Apprenticeship’ standards
  2. Create regionally focused skills pipelines.
  3. Increase availability of Russell Group university standard part-time degree apprenticeships
  4. Review options for career transitioning apprenticeships
  5. Introduce GCSEs and A-levels in design, engineer and construct (DEC) disciplines
  6. Foster collaboration between industry and government to deliver a broader range of improved careers advice for construction and engineering
  7. Commit the industry to measurable improvements in diversity
  8. Seize the opportunity of the new Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  9. Support the creation of a single construction and infrastructure skills body
  10. Facilitate the ongoing professional development of a directly employed workforce

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