Actis Shares Dual Approach to Tackling the Construction Skills Gap

A RECENT REPORT suggesting a worsening of the skills gap in the construction industry highlights not only the need to encourage young people to consider a career in the profession – but also the need to embrace speedier construction methods to compensate for a smaller workforce, says insulation specialist Actis.

The report by the Association of Project Managers (APM) found that 30% of construction project managers believe the skills gap is getting worse or not improving.

Mark Cooper, Actis’ UK and Ireland Sales Director

Responding to the report, Actis’ UK and Ireland Sales Director, Mark Cooper, explained that his company is effectively operating a ‘pincer movement’ to address both ends of the skills gap dilemma.

“On the ‘speedier construction’ side, the speed and ease of installation of our Hybrid range and new Eolis HC are universally praised. The fact that they save many hours – in some cases it can take half the time of using a solid alternative – means that ‘spare’ time can be spent doing other, more complex activities,” said Mark.

“And as the products can be installed by less experienced members of the construction team, this frees up the longer-serving colleagues to carry out some of the more skilled tasks.

“We also work with many timber framers, and houses produced offsite can be built up to 30% more quickly than traditional brick and block, delivering much needed homes at a faster rate and using fewer man hours per unit.”

Dual Approach

Members of the Actis specification and sales team are approaching the other end of the skills gap funnel by going out and sharing the joy of working in construction with young people at school and college.

Actis’ South East Area Sales Director, Steven Ellis, found middle school pupils in Bedfordshire very receptive to his tales of life in the trade when he took part in a ‘Careers Carousel’ recently.

Emma Ramsay, the school’s associate assistant head teacher, said the day was inspirational for the 10 to 13-year-olds, who particularly enjoyed a competition to see who could make the tallest tower of Actis Hybris samples.

Elsewhere, Actis’ Northern Regional Sales Director and Women in Construction Ambassador, Jemma Harris, spoke to students at a CITB careers event and a school in Yorkshire, with the aim of inspiring young women to reject stereotypes and follow their dreams of a career in a male-dominated profession.

South-West Area Sales Manager, Tom Hendzel, also helped out with lectures to construction trainees at Cornwall’s Truro and Penwith College, and Northern Regional Specification Manager, Amaret Chahal, who has co-written some of the company’s CPD training material, recently spoke to students at Barnsley College about the joy of construction.

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