Viewpoint: Local Construction Summits: bringing industry and local government together

A series of events in key localities across England that brings local government, LEPs and construction employers together to look at ways to drive skills and engage construction as a driver for growth in the local economy are being held by CITB, the Construction Industry Training Body and Sector Skills Council for Construction (working in partnership with the Construction Industry Council and CITB-Constructionskills Northern Ireland).

Responding to Government’s vision: The Industrial Strategy: Construction 2025

Most of us will be aware of Central Government’s ambitious industrial strategy for Construction which sets out the long term vision to demonstrate how industry and Government will work together to put Britain at the forefront of global construction over the coming years. At a national level, the Construction Industry is classed as “an industry that drives growth across the entire economy” and also “at the heart of the economy, supporting growth in other key market sectors” [i]  However, the potential of the construction sector is not always seen this way at a local level, with many LEP areas not classifying construction as a priority sector that can both drive and enable growth in local strategies and growth plans. Herein lies a real opportunity for Local Authorities and LEPs.

50 years of service to the construction industry

CITB has been working to support the construction industry for 50 years this year and at a local level, that means providing ‘one voice’ for the construction industry on skills needs at a local level. This year’s series of Construction Summits examine how best to support skills and training to deliver local economic growth. Each summit will be attended by Councillors from the LEP area, LEP representatives, employers and representatives from the local construction industry and training providers.

At each summit, following an introduction by the host Council Leader, CITB provides 2014-2018 Construction Skills Network (CSN)  data, which includes labour market intelligence for the locality, looking at where the areas of growth are, the stand-out construction projects planned and what skills will be needed to deliver those projects.  Attendees work together to discuss how the priorities and needs of their local area can be met by aligning construction skills needs to council and LEP planning and strategy. The sessions also explain how CITB supports the local industry and explores how CITB can support the work of LEPs and councils to realise their strategies and plans through a range of skills solutions that can help  capitalise on the potential for economic growth through construction.  Each event is complemented by a key speaker from the LEP area.

So far, we’ve held two Construction Summits with the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP and Black Country LEP. Each event has attracted around 40 attendees from a range of backgrounds. All attendees have come with the shared aim of discussing local skills needs and working together to address what suitable solutions might look like, and how, by working in partnership with CITB’s support, they can make these happen. Delegates comments have included: “This was a great transfer of information” and “Really useful event. Great energy, mix of people, ideas and solutions.”

To find out more about the 2014 national series of Construction Summits, to see a full list of venues, and for details of how to book your place, please contact constructionsummit@lgiu.org.uk



[i] Industrial Strategy: government and industry partnership Construction 2025

CITB Construction Summit, Swindon