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The need for investment in training

13th October 2011

Everyone connected with the construction industry can clearly see that times are tough. Unfortunately, there’s no escaping it, with businesses looking at ways of reducing cost and time, ultimately trying to improve the bottom line.

It’s always tempting to cut investment in training and developing new talent but that is a short-term strategy, and one that will have a damaging impact on the future of the industry.

Making cuts is always a difficult position to be in. Firms have to draw distinctions between what they need and what they want. For construction, training and development budgets are sometimes the first to go; in my opinion an unwise choice as thoughts will turn away from the future skills in the industry, particularly dangerous in some of the emerging markets.

It was interesting to hear Diane Johnson, the president from the Electrical Contractors Association and financial director of electrical contractor Northwich, recently warn that unless the industry acted soon, it could be too late: ““We are sitting on a ticking time bomb here if nobody addresses these issues,” she said. “Who is training up the future captains of our industry? The guys who really know their craft in this sector won’t be around forever.

“I can see why people don’t think it’s cost effective to take on people who need training up when money is tight but, in the long-term, these people may not get jobs and then they won’t be paying taxes.”

She has a point. We are not at that stage yet, but time will tell.

The demand for the training courses we offer at Bromak is great, and it is good to see not all organisations are cutting back, but with some financial experts anticipating the UK going back into recession, it would be a massive problem for the industry if cut backs started.

One of the main USP’s we offer is substantial cost savings to our clients and candidates, be it through our value for money training courses or simply offering a joint recruitment and training approach.

Many firms offer one or the other, but it is rare to see a firm working in recruitment that also offers training courses. That brings with it huge benefits. Firstly, we can find the perfect candidate for the position, but crucially train them before they commence employment so they can hit the ground running.

Secondly, rather than using two parties for recruitment and training courses, our clients have the option to use one, taking full advantage of the discounts this brings them. This is clearly advantageous but it is much more than just cost savings; it’s about the people.

Attracting new and diverse entrants into the construction industry is essential but it’s also just as important to challenge them enough that they want to stay.

Developing skills plays a major part here and it’s not only for the benefit of the employee, but for the organisation as well.

Benefits are vast, be it a higher standard of work performance or a greater knowledge of health and safety issues. Put simply, it makes a business more effective.

Training is a continuous process and that’s why, whatever the current economic situation, it needs to be implemented as a matter of course.

We’re lucky because we have a lot of forward-thinking people and businesses in the construction industry that place a high importance on training and this is the reason why the industry has a bright future.

People are always quick to write off the sector but if training and development remains a critical part of it, the horizon will always be an exciting one.

Take a look at the 3B Training website or get in touch if you want to learn more.

Mathew Bewley
Director
3B Training

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