BOVIS LEND Lease UK announced last week that it was establishing a not-forpro company to tackle the growing skills shortage in UK construction.
The contractor's new organisation, Be Onsite, will offer on-site industry specic training and employment to new construction workers. It will also work with other contractors and subcontractors to match training with specific skills needs.
Be Onsite was set up in response to calls from the government for construction ms to drive training in the industry.
It is hoped that the initiative will help small firms in particular. 'Small rms with fewer than 14 workers represent 94% of the construction industry and employ 39% of all workers, ' said Val Lowman, Bovis Lend Lease head of community development and Be Onsite managing director.
'These firms need all the help they can get. We aim for Be Onsite to eventually grow so that it can offer trainees to the construction industry across the country.
'This is a long-term solution to the issues of skills shortages and inner city unemployment, ' Lowman added.
Be Onsite comes on the back of the industry's response to the National Skills Academy for Construction, a network that was set up in November 2006 to improve the training opportunities of mobile construction workforces. It is supported by the government's Jobcentre Plus body, and is employer-backed ConstructionSkills, as well as the London Development Agency and the Learning & Skills Council.
ConstructionSkills estimates that the industry needs more than 85,000 new entrants per year to cope with demand.