Skills Shortage to be Tackled by Surrey County Council and Kier through Construction Courses

Amidst a statement released by the UK’s CES, or Commission for Employment and Skills, which states that the number of jobs which have remained unfilled because of lack of skilled workers has risen by as much as 13 percent since the year 2011, the County Council Surrey, along with Kier, have announced the planned launch of a careers college – a special construction skills centre that is expected to train a good number of individuals to be part of the County Council’s and Kier’s highways workers. 

Surrey County Council and Kier find innovative solution to shortage of skilled highway workers problem

Surrey County Council and Kier find innovative solution to shortage of skilled highway workers problem

Kier and Surrey couldn’t be tackling the lack of skilled workers at a more opportune time. As of now, Kier is transporting staff by bus from as far as the Hampshire and Kent coasts just to have enough skilled staff for the highways department of Surrey.


The need for more skilled workers addressed in the best possible way

It can be said that Surrey’s County Council and Kier are taking on a big responsibility – that of launching a special training centre. But this task has already been deemed necessary, especially since Kier’s contract for highways with the council has already been extended to four additional years. Furthermore, the council and Kier have also voted on a new scheme or programme which aims to give younger individuals, who have been classified as ‘not in education, employment, or training’ (also referred to as NEET) the chance to work - and possibly embark on a new career.

The courses offered are also aimed at individuals with mental health issues and those with learning disabilities, as well as ex-military personnel. With the proper training, recruits should be able to acquire enough skills necessary to get an apprenticeship with the council itself or with Kier.

But the construction academy initiative aimed at addressing the shortage in skills is also part of several other important measures taken to reduce costs for the council, projected to save the council as much as £5 million, especially when it comes to making deals with various sub-contractors.


An academy, a technical college or a college of further education?

The council is scheduled to have talks with the Department for Education to make the decision on what kind of training centre is best. They still have to decide whether an actual academy, technical college, or a link with a college for further education is the best solution. John Furey, the Surrey council’s member (designated for highways), is enthusiastic. He says that Kier has already been doing a wonderful job with the council’s project, Operation Horizon, which aims to repair and refurbish up to 300 miles of roads in Surrey. The training centre is also expected to create new jobs for local individuals, as well as furnish Surrey itself with the expertise and experience necessary to make improvements on its own highways and be a leading player in the county’s economy many years into the future.

Posted on 28 Mar 2016 in News

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