Aiming High

Steve Farmer, CEO at Mabey Hire addresses the need for investment and high prospects in the construction and engineering industries

It wasn’t until construction began to rebound substantially in 2013 that the economy as a whole recovered from the financial crisis-related job losses that occurred in 2008. However, despite the expansion, there is a general consensus of a skills shortage and as a result, investment is needed.

With the pace of increase, the availability of qualified and competent people is reducing. There’s a lack of new talent, and locating younger tradespeople or apprentices of the correct calibre and skill level is no simple thing. Many building enterprises consider this as their main hurdle to growth.

However, it’s not the be-all and end-all for construction. Companies can stay up with the fast-paced environment and train both new and seasoned craftsmen with the proper training solutions.

Although the recession has generated a large outflow of workers with the necessary abilities, this is a normal cycle and problem encountered by the construction industry. According to the CITB, with over 400,000 employees expected to leave the industry over the next decade, as well as an additional 400,000 retiring, there is a clear need to invest in training the next generation of workers.

Vince Cable has stated that his first aim is to improve construction training and apprenticeships. This is excellent, but do organisations have the skills and experience already in place to be able to give the essential training? The industry has shed 350,000 workers since its pre-recession zenith, and engineering firms expect to require nearly two million more workers to acquire engineering skills. So what next – should corporations recruit the best, or be investing in training to develop the best?

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has indicated that there is a major scarcity of experienced personnel and has found that almost a third of enterprises questioned found it difficult to identify applicants with the required abilities. So, maybe the industry should put more emphasis on training for all employees?

In addition to ensuring that your staff are competent, training can also promote cooperation amongst coworkers. Once taught, more experienced employees can become mentors, allowing for the establishment of an apprenticeship scheme. However training, be it internal or external, takes expenditure.

Budget announcements made in March 2014 indicated a strong commitment to house construction, and this newfound confidence is expected to spur more activity in the sector. To take advantage of this, suppliers need to ensure that their sustainability credentials are updated and if they can also produce creative products, they are likely to be in high demand.

In order to encourage growth in the construction industry as a whole, more money must be poured into infrastructure and the private construction sector.

Mabey Hire’s performance shows the value of investing in new equipment and data collection technology. In addition to a big design team, Mabey Hire now employs over 400 people, including some chartered engineers and others who have joined up for additional training. And the company has driven considerable development to its technical capabilities over 2014, via an investment strategy with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) (ICE).

As well as cooperating with the ICE, Mabey Hire is financing three employees in external qualifications, working towards either an HNC or bachelors degree in civil engineering.

In order to compete in today’s economy, companies must cultivate an organisational culture focused on results. To aim for additional expansion, Mabey Hire has set performance-driven objectives and strong growth targets for its staff, with attractive incentives and prizes.

In addition, Mabey Hire’s delivery fleet will be upgraded to ensure that it continues to operate at peak efficiency. Hire equipment should arrive in current, clean cars with pleasant, helpful drivers, to reflect the brand favourably.

“Britain is great at engineering,” says Engineering UK, pointing out that engineering sales have increased by 2.2% over the last four years to £1.1 trillion, or 24.5% of all UK sales. There’s still room for further investment to get the greatest results in 2015 even if the construction industry’s development trajectory is projected to continue.

Last Updated on December 29, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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