Addressing the Skills Crisis

A report by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) projects a shortage of over 200,000 skilled workers in the UK construction industry by 2025, underscoring the urgent need for effective recruitment strategies. As the problem escalates, both government support and internal industry initiatives are essential.

The shortage of skilled labour presents a significant challenge, and NDTG is making strides in tackling this issue.

Untapped Talent Pools

The built environment sector has been proactive in promoting construction T Levels and apprenticeships to introduce a new generation into the workforce. However, to truly address the skills shortage, the sector must explore additional, untapped sources of talent, such as ex-offenders. According to the charity Unlock, around 12 million people in the UK have a criminal record. Despite significant labour shortages, only 30% of businesses employ ex-offenders, presenting a substantial opportunity for the industry.

One step at a time

The first initiative NDTG is employing in attracting untapped talent pools is with our combined efforts with the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service. The CCDO card scheme provides an accessible way to get a job as an ex-offender. But what it also allows for is a clear career trajectory. NDTG is helping ex-offenders acquire valuable skills and qualifications that are highly sought after in the demolition industry whilst ensuring they stay within our industry with desirable pathways to more opportunities.

Overcoming Misconceptions

Some employers are hesitant to hire ex-offenders due to concerns about trustworthiness. However, the Ministry of Justice’s polling indicates that nearly 90% of businesses find ex-offenders reliable and punctual. Raising awareness about the positive contributions of ex-offenders is essential to overcoming these notions. Our training programs have demonstrated that ex-offenders often possess transferable skills and a resilient attitude and work ethic. Ex-offenders are keen to undo the negative preconceptions made of them.

Unique Skills and Experiences

Ex-offenders often bring transferable skills to the workforce. Our training programs have received positive feedback, with trainees showing enthusiasm and a strong desire to challenge negative stereotypes. By providing them with the necessary training and support, we’re helping break down the barriers for new career opportunities.

Enhancing Support Systems

Existing initiatives like the Ministry of Justice’s Future Skills Programme provide crucial support for integrating ex-offenders into the workforce. These programs should be widely promoted, and NDTG has gone further to enhance recruitment efforts and address the skills shortage. Our cross-mapped training allows demolition operatives to complete their demolition CCDO and construction SSSTS/SMSTS Site Safety Plus qualifications simultaneously. This initiative facilitates seamless and cost-effective development across construction and demolition.

Making Training Accessible

Initially a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NDTG now hosts online training programs as a cornerstone of our educational platform. We have made training more accessible and convenient, encouraging those joining the industry and those who want to progress through the CCDO card scheme.

By embracing these strategies and consistently focusing on how we can support recruitment initiatives, we can address the skills crisis and build a stronger, more resilient built environment sector. NDTG’s efforts in prisons, tapping into the potential of overlooked talent pools, exemplify our commitment to finding innovative solutions.