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CITB research highlights “growing need to boost skills transferability” post-Brexit


New CITB research shows that attracting people from other sectors should play a bigger part in meeting construction’s skills needs.

The report, ‘Construction and Built Environment: Skills Transferability in the UK’, found there will an even bigger need “to boost skills transferability as recruitment becomes more difficult post Brexit.” 

Researchers found that 62% of employers took no action to encourage employees to transfer between trades. This is despite approximately one in five (19%) of construction sector workers having previously worked in another sector. The research, which saw nearly 500 employers surveyed across the UK, highlighted manual occupations such as steel erectors and bricklayers as the roles with the best potential to transfer skills.

A number of challenges were found in boosting skills transferability, including:

  • Improving the image of the industry
  • Changing the way training is delivered to it promotes multi-skilling
  • Concerns from employees and unions around multi-skilling 

Steve Radley, CITB Policy Director, said:

“Our research shows that transferability of skills is a growing issue, particularly with Brexit looming.

“While many employers are not yet looking at it, it could become a significant way to meet our skills needs in the coming years.

“CITB clearly has a role to play in this. Our forecasts can help prioritise support for upskilling and ensure training providers are well placed to respond. In addition, we will collaborate with industry to develop top-up courses to enable transition for people with relevant transferable skills.”

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