Skills and capacity –People are our most important asset

SkillsThe Building Alliance Community Interest Company is focused on increasing the construction market and creating skilled employment opportunities whilst ensuring the best possible regulatory and trading environment to deliver a high quality sustainable built environment.

This builds on the success of “The Get Britain Building” campaign which has already delivered a much stronger construction sector and has led to the Government commitment to build one million homes by 2020.

The primary intention is to “join up the dots” and encourage greater collaborative working across industry stakeholders including Local Government, trainers, planners, architects, builders, engineers, logistics providers and builders merchants who have a shared commitment to:

  • Growing the overall market and the demand for products and services creating jobs and growth
  • Encouraging people to join the industry whilst providing the training they need to fulfil the role of their choice
  • Better utilisation of digital technology to support effective collaborative working across the sector
  • Making best use of available funds to stimulate the increased delivery of new homes and community assets and developing the participation of local builders
  • Helping to deliver a sustainable future for the West Midlands

The construction Industry, national and local Government are highly fragmented in their approach to the delivery of infrastructure and the built environment and as a direct result there is an under delivery which is commensurate with lost opportunities to drive jobs, growth and social inclusion.

The formation of the West Midlands Combined Authority offers a unique opportunity to bring together the myriad of opportunities to drive growth through regeneration, marketing the vison and the career opportunities for young people in the wider construction sector. There is also an urgent need to signpost young people to the right training, facilitate work placement and experience and to drive demand through a coordinated approach to enabling new developments and regeneration projects

The construction industry is vital to the West Midlands economy, creating skilled jobs and economic growth and the built environment that we urgently need to support a sustainable future. There has never been a more important time to invest to ensure we have the skilled workforce, manufacturing capacity and demand to underpin the long term sustainable growth of the West Midlands.

Collaboration supported by digital technology is the key to the delivery of a more efficient industry that produces better outcomes for the consumer. Attracting young people to explore the huge range of opportunities the sector offers is of vital importance as is the development of a joined up approach to offering and properly sign-posting training and work placement opportunities. It is of critical importance to train the skilled workers we will need to replace the 30% of the current workforce who are due retire in the next 10 years. There is also the need to reduce bureaucracy and promote an “open for business” message. The increased participation of SME’s and successfully bidding for the various funding streams that are currently available to stimulate growth and in particular the building of new homes is also of vital importance to increasing outputs.

Devolution offers a fantastic opportunity to take an integrated approach to the long term delivery of infrastructure, housing and the built environment, maximising the social and economic benefits. The option for the West Midlands Combined Authority to devolve and manage the effective delivery of skills could significantly improve the provision of the right training opportunities to prepare and equip young people for a long and rewarding career.

The Building Alliance would like to partner with the West Midlands Combined Authority and other relevant parties to pilot a new and innovative approach to the delivery of the built environment, sharing a common goal to ensure the East \Midlands is in the best place possible to take full advantage from the most exciting period of economic growth in living memory.

This will ensure we capture all the initiatives currently being, sharing good practice and maximising the opportunities for growth, jobs and a better built environment.

It is proposed that Birmingham City University would play a key role in this collaborative partnership acting as the intelligence hub and the facilitator for the development of this unique and highly collaborative approach to the delivery of long term jobs and economic growth.