Constructing the offsite workforce: An update on new qualifications and training

11th January, 2018

The construction industry is one of the most important sectors to the UK economy, with 12 per cent of construction taking place offsite.

The 'Faster, Smarter, More Efficient Building Skills for Offsite Construction' report shows that 42% of construction industry employers with over 100 staff expect to use offsite methods in five years' time. When asked about the use of offsite-specific construction materials and products, 100% said they expected the use of precast concrete panels to increase; 91% anticipated the use of precast concrete frame to rise.

Mark Farmer, CEO and Founding Director of Cast and the author of 'Modernise or Die' said: "The urgency for modernisation has never been greater, set against an insidious backdrop of an ageing workforce and increasing concerns about the impact of Brexit.

"Any strategic shift towards pre-manufacturing and offsite construction creates an immediate requirement to define our future skills needs through collaboration between industry, educators, training providers and government."

The greater uptake of offsite construction is likely to have a gradual impact on existing skills and job roles although the requirement for appropriate training and qualifications is likely to be more immediate.

There are, of course, a number of challenges to the growth of offsite. However, one of the biggest potential drags on the UK fully capitalising on the rise of offsite construction would be an inadequately trained workforce. We need a more flexible skillset across construction to adapt to the dynamic demands of offsite construction.

The growth of offsite has seen a blurring of the lines between manufacturing, engineering and construction, creating the need for new skills and redefining existing ones. We need to not only train new entrants in a range of new skills, but also upskill our existing workforce. The digitalisation of the construction industry and the link that provides to offsite also offers a chance to attract a new cohort of skilled workers.

To find out how this can be achieved, Ben Lever will be speaking at Explore Offsite Outlooks alongside Jonathan Lock, Director, Design4Structures - discussing 'Constructing the offsite workforce: An update on new qualifications and training.'

They will be joined at Explore Offsite Outlooks by an outstanding speaker line-up that includes: Andrew Orriss, Sales Director - SIG360; Jonathan Lock, Director - Design4Structures; Elite Sher- Head of VR & AR - Bryden Wood Technology; John Eynon, Engagement Lead - BIM Alliance; Dominic Thasarathar, Primary Thought-Leader - AutoDesk; Alan Clucas, Director - Explore Manufacturing - Laing O'Rourke. And more, for the full list of speakers go to:

The Explore Offsite Outlooks conference and supporting exhibition is taking place on 28 February 2018. This one-day conference and exhibition will create a platform for clients and their professional advisers, contractors and project managers and offsite technology suppliers to network with industry experts to discuss the latest developments in digital construction for the offsite sector. Tickets cost just £125 + vat and includes entry into the conference and exhibition, lunch and refreshments. There will also be an option of a guided tour of the BRE Innovation Park - to find our more or to secure your place at Explore Offsite Outlooks go to:

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