A recruitment event at Telford College to help tackle skills shortages in the local construction industry has been declared a huge success.
Hundreds of job-seekers attended the ‘Careers In Construction’ session at the college’s construction centre, where some of Shropshire’s biggest construction businesses were exhibiting.
The event was run by the college in partnership with Telford & Wrekin Council, Jobcentre Plus, the Department for Work & Pensions, and the Construction Industry Training Board.
Exhibitors included two former Shropshire company of the year winners – McPhillips (Wellington) Limited and The Hawk Group. McPhillips brought one of its large diggers, while Hawk Group set up a simulator, putting job hunters in a ‘virtual’ driving seat.
Other exhibitors included Keepmoat Homes, Lovell Partnerships, Wrekin Housing Trust, Women Into Construction, Total People, NCS/Job Box, APT Group, Telford & Wrekin Council, the University of Wolverhampton, and Pave Aways Limited.
Carol Smith, director of employer engagement at Telford College: “We were really pleased with the level of support – more than 300 people came through the doors.
“The exhibitors and partners all felt it was a very worthwhile day, and commented on the atmosphere and enthusiasm of the attendees. Our students and apprentices also enjoyed showing off their talents to employers and visitors.”
Several employers left the event with names of people interested in job vacancies, and 16 signed up to Telford College’s ‘introduction to construction skills’ programme.
Carol added: “We feel this event has certainly created a blueprint for the future, and we are already putting plans in place to repeat it around the same time next year.”
Trevor Oakley, CITB adviser for the Marches, said: “We’re delighted to be working closely with Telford College on this initiative, which we hope will be the first of many.
“In the West Midlands, construction output is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 1.8% between 2018 and 2022, and with an ageing workforce, we have thousands of positions that need to be filled.”
According to the CITB, the greatest current shortages are for wood trades and interior fit-out staff, as well as labourers, electricians, bricklayers, painters and decorators, and installers.