The government announced in early July that it would pay for the widening of the existing talent retention scheme website, www.trs-system.co.uk, to include a construction specific portal.
Anyone seeking work in the UK construction industry can post up their personal details and work history and any employers looking to recruit can scour through candidates’ details.
The business is owned by Chris and Sarah Jarman, and their company Winchester Consulting Limited is the data controller. They also run the site www.veteranreturners.co.uk with Ministry of Defence support.
For the construction portal, the Jarmans have secured the support of the government’s Construction Leadership Council (CLC). The government has agreed to fund all services provided by TRS until April 2021, making it free to use until then.
Partners of the scheme are listed as Balfour Batty, Bouygues UK, Aggregate Industries, Retrofit Works, WSP, Mace, Polypipe, Bradfords Building Supplies, Burroughs and BAM.
The idea of the government and the CLC throwing their weight and money behind one particular recruitment consultant above all others has attracted widespread support, with lots of positive comments from across the industry. Rival recruitment businesses have kept quiet.
The only voice of dissent has come from the Unite trades union, which says that while it cautiously welcomes having a one-stop portal where the industry’s workforce and employers can be matched together, it was concerned that it had potential to be abused by ‘rogue bosses that plague the industry’.
Jerry Swain said: “If operated and managed correctly, the TRS can be a major force in retaining the talent and skills at all levels that the construction industry so desperately requires. Construction, with more than two million workers, will be a major force in getting the post-pandemic UK economy back on track. We must do everything we can to retain our highly-prized skilled workers.
“However, we will be keeping a weathered eye on the TRS as it rolls out. We will want to ensure that what is offered is genuine employment and not simply another scam that further casualises our industry. We need to understand that a casual industry will never retain its talent.”