Construction Skills

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 09/18/2012 08:39 PM

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Mark Farrar is the chief executive of Construction Skills, which has to ensure that the country has enough workers with "green skills" to take us into a new era of sustainable residential and commercial building.

He's the first to acknowledge that this is a major task. CITB-ConstructionSkills has to engage with a wide range of public sector organisations, to influence public policy-making and engage with those who plan and deliver training. It also deals with a huge mix of organisations in the construction industry, from the large multinational firms down to the small and medium-sized businesses that make up such an important part of the sector.

"It's quite a package end to end," says Farrar of the many organisations he has to deal with. "That's one of our challenges but it's also one of the strengths of the organisation — that we are vertically integrated across this whole area."

CITB-ConstructionSkills's remit is to reduce skills shortages, improve business performance, bring a diverse range of people into the industry, improve learning for apprenticeships, higher and further education, and to develop professional occupational standards. It is also committed to supporting the development of low-carbon skills in construction. This is crucial, given that the built environment accounts for almost half — 47% — of UK carbon emissions.

"The key message from us is is that to achieve the government's carbon agenda and its now legally binding carbon targets, a monumental sea-change is required in the construction industry," says Farrar.

In partnership with the Federation of Master Builders and the National Specialist Contractors Council, CITB-ConstructionSkills has launched a three-year, industry-wide "Cut the Carbon" campaign in England, Scotland and Wales, to raise companies' awareness of the legislation, the timelines and the new opportunities presented by the low carbon agenda. Practical support and training will be available to help companies gear up for the...