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Government Projects Welcomed but More Focus Needed on Upskilling Workforce

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Ambitious plans to build new homes and develop a number of major new rail links across the UK have been welcomed but the government must also look to tackle growing skills shortages, according to OneWay.

An analysis by the rail and construction recruitment specialist outlined how investment in a number of major projects, announced today by George Osborne, could drive thousands of roles across the UK. However, the organisation also insisted that more must be done to get higher numbers of skilled and trained professionals operating in the sector to allow these projects to get off the ground and remain operational.

Paul Payne, Managing Director of OneWay comments.

“The announcements made this afternoon are highly encouraging and indicate that the government is set to push for growth by investing in major infrastructure projects which could create thousands of roles across a variety of positions. However, this is tempered optimism as both the construction and rail sectors are currently suffering from significant skills shortages and much more needs to be done to ensure we have adequate numbers of professionals ready and able to operate on these projects.”

“Factors like the upcoming apprenticeship levy, which comes into play next year, are steps in the right direction, however that’s a long term solution. The sector is short of talent right now and governing bodies need to look to either promote skilled trades careers more effectively or find ways of upskilling professionals to be able to operate on key projects like HS3. Otherwise, we could reach a stage where they go over budget due to pay rates being higher than expected as a result of demand. We would also like to see more promotion of these types of careers earlier on in the education system. There are a huge range of interesting and high-potential roles in the construction and rail sectors, to name just two, and more needs to be done to publicise them.”