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Calls for improved training to assist drive for net zero carbon

23 February 2021

Concern over the meeting of net zero carbon targets has been voiced by leaders within the construction sector, according to the latest report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank.

The group has written to the government and urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support the teaching of relevant skills to support the sector's journey towards net zero.

Its concerns begin from the fact that 750,000 construction workers are due to retire over the next 15 years, resulting in a considerable loss of experience.

There has been increasing awareness of the essential role the construction and FM sector will play in reducing carbon emissions within buildings.

Construction leaders have said in their letter that there is already a skills shortfall and this will increase in future years if action is not taken, with negative implications for delivering a zero-carbon economy.

The IPPR report says that increased effort is required to both improve the construction sector's current skills set and help it prepare for the future.

An essential element within this is the recruitment of younger people, with just 20% of workers currently aged under 30.

Its message has been endorsed by organisations such as The Federation of Master Builders, The Chartered Institute of Builders, British Property Federation and the Construction Industry Training Board.

Two of the essential elements to address to raise skills levels is improved leadership by government and increased coordination among construction companies.

IPPR proposals include increased funding for further education and apprenticeships and including skills investment in government-funded infrastructure projects.

It is also calling for legislation to be passed to improve pay and conditions for construction workers to make it more attractive to jobseekers.

Those wishing to read the full IPPR report can do so here.

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