London construction skills taskforce unveiled – New Civil Engineer

22 Apr, 2022 By Rob Horgan
A taskforce has been established to ensure that skills gaps are addressed around the construction, retrofit and maintenance of low carbon commercial buildings in central London boroughs.
Set up by the City of London Corporation the Skills for a Sustainable Skyline Taskforce is made up of 15 industry chiefs from contractors, developers and associations.
Among those chosen to sit on the taskforce are Mace chief of staff Hannah Vickers and Willmott Dixon chief sustainability officer Julia Barrett. CITB chief executive Tim Balcon, JLL head of sustainability Emma Hoskyn and Built by Us founder Danna Walker are also named on the 15-strong taskforce (see full list below).
The taskforce will run for three years and will be chaired by deputy chair of the City Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee Chris Hayward. City Property Association (CPA) chief executive Charles Begley will serve as deputy chair.
It comes in response to the findings of a poll of over 100 industry professionals which revealed:
The taskforce will support the aims of the City Corporation’s radical Climate Action Strategy which commits to net-zero carbon emissions across the City Corporation’s operations by 2027, and to support the achievement of net zero for the Square Mile by 2040.
Hayward said: “Central London urgently needs a larger skilled workforce to decarbonise its commercial buildings and this taskforce will lead the way in finding solutions to fill this skills gap.
“We must work at pace to attract new talent as well as upskill and reskill the existing workforce as we look to meet our ambitious climate action goals.
“The areas which we have identified as having the greatest scope for improvement are the full development lifecycle, including design, retrofit, construction and maintenance.”
Begley added: “Advances in technology and innovation are opening up a wider range of job opportunities within the built environment, with the drive towards greater sustainability being embedded from financing to fit-out, as well as the long term operation of a building. However, there is evidence of a growing skills gap which threatens to impede progress in achieving London’s net zero carbon targets.
“We need to understand the barriers in attracting the diverse workforce the industry requires, and find solutions to help promote the reskilling and upskilling of existing workers, whilst raising career awareness amongst Londoners, particularly those from underrepresented demographic backgrounds.”
Data published by the London Assembly Economy Committee last month showed that 18% fewer people began construction apprenticeships in the capital in 2020/21 than in 2017/18.
Last summer, the CITB found that an extra 216,800 construction workers would be needed by 2025 to meet demand.
But figures released by the Office for National Statistics last month showed that the number of self-employed workers in construction hit its lowest level for 18 years in 2021.
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Tagged with: CITB JLL Mace Willmott Dixon
Might it help them to have a representative or two of the actual construction workers on board? Oh, sorry – this will be the usual ‘top-down’, we know better exercise which will no doubt come up with some wonderful words – but no realistic action.
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