Government looks to tackle skills shortages with new rules

bisBidders for major Government infrastructure projects will have to provide evidence of their commitment to developing skills under new rules announced by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

As of today, (April 1), contenders will be required to demonstrate their commitment to upskilling the current and future workforce in order to be considered for contracts. This is intended to provide a boost to apprenticeship and training opportunities and help combat skills shortages.

Nick Boles, minister of state for BIS, said:

“As economic growth continues it is vitally important that there is significant and meaningful investment in skills. Under these new plans, bidders for all major Government projects will have to demonstrate a clear commitment to developing the skills of the current and future workforce. Through apprenticeships and high quality training, this initiative will help make sure industry invests in the skills the country needs.

“We are giving industry a role in defining what good company skills practice looks like and I have asked the Construction Leadership Council to help determine the types of behaviours Government procurers should look for.”

Lord Deighton, commercial secretary to the Treasury, added:

“This new approach to procurement will generate real and lasting change in the sector’s investment in people, helping to avoid skills shortages.”

The change will apply to all Government projects with a capital value over œ50 million. These requirements will be placed in contracts, monitored and may be used to inform future procurement decisions. Procurers will also be encouraged to introduce similar requirements, where appropriate, in lower value projects.

According to a recent report from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the construction industry will require 224,000 more jobs by 2019. BIS expects that this recent action will play an important role in ensuring the industry has the skilled workers it needs to meet demand and support growth.

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