There is no doubt that these are uncertain times for the UK and by natural consequence, uncertain times for the Demolition sector. However, economic and political uncertainty is nothing new and most of us have weathered a storm or two and understand that recovery only shifts in confidence away. There is, however, one significantly more troublesome and potentially crippling consequence of the current climate that, unless addressed, may not recover.
One of the outcomes of the chaos that has defined the Brexit experiment over the last 2-3 years, has been the slowdown in the flow of Eastern European workers into the UK. There are many that view this as very much a positive result and part of the motivation for initiating the UK’s exit from Europe in the first place. Without entering this political or ideological minefield, there are some unavoidable realities that come with the shift.
Demolition, like many other sectors across the spectrum, has become reliant on this Eastern European resource pool to carry out both skilled and unskilled roles within the industry. For the most part, the lower-skilled roles are typically sourced as and when required via agency suppliers. As one of these suppliers Number 8 Resourcing Ltd has a full view of the landscape around this issue and understands first-hand how the shrinking pool of European labour is having a significant impact on project delivery and if current trends continue, will become critical in the near future.
Closing our eyes and waiting for the oncoming impact is not an option so Number 8 (ISP member since 2013) have joined forces with the NFDC and NDTG to look at alternate resource pools. One that has obvious social and commercial benefits is a vast number of leavers exiting the Military annually. A working relationship with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) has been established and the NDTG are now accredited to train leavers during their transition phase as they exit the Forces. As a group representing the NFDC members and the demolition industry as a whole, we are promoting a positive message around the career opportunities starting at entry-level roles right through to skilled, leadership roles.
The success of this ambitious initiative will require Corporate Member engagement and enthusiasm to utilise the resource. The ultimate goal is to find long term permanent opportunities which could be via Trail Blazer apprenticeships. However, the option will also be available to integrate these valuable resources into your workforce on a temp basis through Number 8 Resourcing. The issue around where the next generation of Demolition operatives are going to come from has been a concern for the industry for some time. With Federation wide support this could provide a viable solution and feedback of its success will generate interest within the Forces.
The opportunities to establish a long term career in Demolition are significant for a resource that has been trained to be disciplined, reliable and resourceful. The modern Demolition Industry is a natural environment for Military Personnel to thrive.