Building firm takes action to tackle labour shortages
A Bristol building firm is tackling looming labour shortages by expanding its own successful in-house training programme.
Helm Construction has decided to train the next generation of apprentices rather than recruiting from a rapidly constricting labour pool or relying on sub-contractors.
The faster than expected recovery has resulted in a nationwide shortage of trained construction workers – with the number of bricklayers out of work dwindling to just 1,775 in August from a peak of 15,425 back in 2009.
Helm Construction Site manager Kim Ritchings comments: “Many firms abandoned their training schemes and laid off their apprentices to save costs during the downturn – which is one reason why so many companies are struggling to find properly trained staff now.
“We recognised the recovery would begin in the construction sector and were determined to ensure we were fully prepared to meet the steep increase in demand.”
Helm Construction has just offered two new apprenticeships to James Fox and Lee Nicholls, while Kim, Stuart Rawlings and Scott Reeves have been on CITB training courses to speed their progress up through the ranks.