Employing approximately 79,4001 people across D2N2, the construction sector is one of D2N2’s eight priority sectors. As elsewhere, the sector’s future growth prospects in D2N2 are intrinsically linked to the performance of the local and national economies; however, the construction sector can play an important role in generating additional economic activity. For every £1 invested in house-building generating nearly £3 through wages and profits, spending with suppliers (including the aggregates / minerals industry – Derbyshire is the largest producer of minerals in the UK) and spending in the wider economy; the construction sector is playing a vital role in increasing the economic prosperity of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
Cllr Jon Collins (first right) and Peter Gadsby (second right) visiting the site of the new Biocity Nottingham Extension. Picture Courtesy of Shawn Ryan
West Nottinghamshire College student laying bricks as part of a construction course.
An important issue for the construction sector in D2N2 is to ensure that businesses are able to access both public sector and private procurement opportunities, as well as being able to find the training they need to upskill and increase their workforce through apprenticeships and other training available.
D2N2 has a number of large employers including Morgan Sindall, Bowmer and Kirkland, GF Tomlinson and Woodhead (Good to Gold Programme) and the construction sector locally is relatively productive with output per worker estimated to be 9% higher than in the UK overall and accounting for 8.7% of GVA in the D2N2 area.
D2N2‘s Procurement Charter was launched at the D2N2 2015 Annual Conference. Mainly aimed at the Construction sector, the Charter asks project sponsors to monitor the social, environmental and economic impact of their capital works. D2N2’s Charter builds on the national Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012; which encourages organisations putting work contracts out to tender to consider utilising them to address social, economic and environmental needs.
To view the D2N2 Procurement Charter, click here
Contractors working on major projects co-funded by D2N2, for example through the Local Growth Fund, are then encouraged to capture their impact and environmental benefits which includes apprenticeship development, widening employee diversity in the industry (recruiting more women, and black and ethnic minority workers), or open up opportunities for the long-term unemployed. In this way, corporate social responsibility and the need for a business to turn a profit can go hand-in-hand.
D2N2 have £192m of Local Growth Fund (LGF) capital projects in the pipeline for the next 3 years. LGF funding comes directly from government and each LEP bids for a share. These are to build and create infrastructure across D2N2. Each of these projects will create a number of construction jobs for local construction businesses immediately and deliver the long term benefits from the Procurement Charter. All projects are required to tender through formal procurement methods.
Apprentice Chris Makin of Derry Building Services, Newark
Tenders in the D2N2 area can be viewed on Source Derbyshire, Source Nottinghamshire and Local Supply Chain. Local Supply Chain is a website dedicated to linking clients with contractors and subcontractors. An invitation to tender is posted on the portal and is visible to contractors that are within a set radius of the construction site so that they can submit tenders for local work. Subcontractors are able to express interest in contracts, upload their skills and receive feedback if they do not get selected for the work.
It is also an important provider of skilled jobs and training / apprenticeship opportunities for young people together with ‘up-skilling’ of the supply chain in collaboration with larger businesses. There are also emerging specialisms in low carbon construction, retrofit and renewable technologies.
D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has been working with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to produce a construction pipeline and skills analysis for the D2N2 area.
The report provides the industry with a long term projection of major public sector capital works. It helps identify the demand for skills as a result of planned investments and includes replacement demand and any skills shortages and gaps. It is expected that the report can be utilised to prompt identification of solutions to maximise employment opportunities in the region.
The final report was launched in May 2016.
To view a copy of the short report, click here.
To view a copy of the full report, click here.
The presentations from the launch are also available by clicking here.
Recommendations from the report:
- 1a - Review and develop, as appropriate, the D2N2 skills plan to ensure that the gap between demand and skills provision for high demand or priority professions and trades does not become a problem.
- 1b - Pipeline identification, planning and exploitation. Develop, as far as possible, a more detailed long term picture of construction and infrastructure investments for the D2N2 area; assess their implications and potential skills demands and use this information to inform skills recruitment (1a).
- 1c - Reskilling and upskilling. A holistic skills plan may benefit from identifying cross-sectoral occupational impacts on labour requirements and opportunities.
- 2 - Identify potential partners within the D2N2 area that will have an interest and shared vision for economic growth. Share analysis with them and engage them in contributing to building collaborative holistic plans.
- 3 - Develop the future curriculum. Increase provision of construction skills training (following on from recommendation 2).
- 4 - Build a more positive image of construction and enhance careers guidance through schools.
Work with construction contractors to help them enhance the image they project.
The consultation with D2N2 stakeholders on 5 April 2016 asserted the long-term importance of changing perceptions among young people about construction careers; about making them attractive to those who have traditionally been under represented in construction: e.g. women, ethnic and other minorities and those disadvantaged and requiring additional support.
- 5 - Introduce smart procurement as a lever to enable skills development and image enhancement, whereby public sector tenders contracts set requirements or rewards for value-add initiatives such as: outreach; image development; encouraging participation from minority groups, re-skilling and upskilling.
This has the potential to influence progress against recommendations: 2, 3, 5 & 6.
- 6 - Apprenticeships. Government has set a commitment to create three million apprenticeships by 2020. The D2N2 area can contribute to this by enabling apprenticeships and the opportunity to incentivise employers and colleges to work together to create a shared apprenticeship scheme.
D2N2 LEP Skills Plan
The recommendations have the potential to make a contribution to the D2N2 LEP’s developing Skills Plan’s priorities, notably:
- Priority 1 Develop sector growth agreements to make explicit ownership and shared responsibilities for investment, ICT, labour market intelligence and impact measures.
- Priority 2 Improve business leadership, management skills and training needs analysis to help increase productivity and performance.
- Priority 3 Promote and develop apprenticeships and traineeships to achieve higher level skills and improve social mobility.
- Priority 4 Raise the visibility of and access to career insights and specialist careers support for young people and adults to raise aspirations, participation, retention and achievement in learning and work.
D2N2 has published its Construction Sector Action Plan where it highlights its strategic priorities to help achieve this. These are:
- • Construction pipeline analysis
- • Sub-contractor portal
- • Creation of Construction Ambassador role
- • Building Information Modelling (Funding to support micro and small business)
- • Improving Net Exports
1 Supply data – refers to individual learning records data from the Skills Funding Agency; and to Ofqual and CITB research such as the mobility study.