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Construction employers invited to shape future success in the Solent

01 November 2021

A new network of employers and trainers collaborating to solve some of the main challenges facing the construction industry has been initiated by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

A network of employers and trainers collaborating to solve some of the main challenges facing the construction industry has been initiated by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Solent has a thriving construction sector, and its continued success is vital to the economic prosperity of the region.  Across the UK, construction in housing and infrastructure is expected to grow and, in the South East, output is forecast to achieve pre-Covid levels as early as next year.

Rachael Randall, Chair of the Solent LEP Skills Advisory Panel, said: "The Solent LEP is bringing together education providers and employers to make sure the construction industry can train and retain the people it needs to continue to thrive in the Solent. We've started up the Solent Skills Construction Network to help shape the future success of the industry in our region, and for our network members to hear about new developments in the sector, share challenges and collaborate to find solutions. Complementing work our local authority partners are already doing with large employers, we have established this network specifically for small and medium sized businesses and start-ups, so if you're a construction or supply chain business, please take a look and come and join us."

Construction employers, colleges and local authorities who attended the inaugural network meeting at Fareham College discussed challenges around apprenticeships, traineeships and industry placements; how to bring in new talent and how best to engage with schools and colleges.

Following the meeting, John Edmondson, Associate Director at Aecom, said: "It was a pleasure to attend the inaugural Solent Construction Skills Working Group and get involved in frank and constructive discussions on recruitment and retention in our industry. It’s a great initiative and we hope to be able to contribute as we all share the same goals of bringing people into this great industry."

The Solent Skills Construction Network meets each quarter at a different college in the Solent and is streamed online for those unable to attend in person. 

The next meeting will be held at Eastleigh College 7.30-9.30am on Friday 10 Feb 2022, which falls in National Apprenticeship Week. Parking will be available on site and breakfast is provided, as well as a tour of the construction facilities at Eastleigh College.

The focus will be on making apprenticeships successful, there are three discussion topics:

1. How to ensure you are fully involved with the selection process for recruiting your apprentice.
2. How to ensure you are getting the support you need from your college / training provider / apprenticeship officer during the programme.
3. What happens at the end of the programme. How can we maximise the employment of apprentices on completion, and what are the referral possibilities and support available to help those who need to find alternative employment.

Contact Lorna to register an interest in joining the group.

The Government has made announcements about financial support to help businesses with the impact of the Omicron variant

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