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Strategic Forum challenges ICE over training

NEW CONSTRUCTION Strategic Forum boss Peter Rogers this week challenged the Institution of Civil Engineers and other professional institutions to make training more relevant to the needs of the modern industry.

Boosting the quality of all professionals working in construction was, he said, a major part of reforms that had to continue to modernise UK construction.

'Professional training is much too narrow, ' he said. 'Do I really need engineers who only understand finite element analysis? I need communication skills - I need many other skills that are not even taught to young professionals.'

Rogers, operations director for developer Stanhope, took over from Sir John Egan last month as chairman of the Strategic Forum. This body has now also been revamped, reducing the membership from 44 bodies to just 10 and, crucially, is now owned and run by industry with government taking only an observer role.

Tackling education and training in construction was, he felt, key to turning around the current skills crisis facing the industry.

'It is often the quality that is missing, ' he said. 'I'm not sure that quantity is always the problem - many projects are still over-managed.'

He vowed that the Strategic Forum would work to help institutions to produce engineers who were able to solve clients business problems rather than simply focusing on the structural or architectural problems.

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