July Overview – Lizzie Painter
When I opened the October 2021 newsletter, I was the newly appointed chair of Generation for Change South West (“G4CSW”), a sub-group of CESW. I used this opportunity to introduce G4CSW, and briefly explain our strategy and its aims. Hopefully by now you are familiar with our key agenda item: to help address the diminishing labour supply in the construction and engineering industry.
I’d like to open this July 2022 newsletter, therefore, with a quote from a recent product availability statement issued by the CLC: “price inflation and a diminishing labour supply are now of greater concern than product availability in most construction sectors”. It’s excellent to see key players in the industry also turn their gaze to the issue of the diminishing labour supply, particularly given the challenging landscape the industry has been navigating as a result of (multiple) unforeseen crises.
Although we cannot take credit for CLC’s prioritisation of this issue, I’m going to use this opening statement to update you on the fantastic progress G4CSW has made over the last 9 months:
- Podcast series: We have released 13 podcasts, where we have interviewed inspirational individuals in the industry about their passion and the vast range of roles (and career routes) available. We want these podcasts to reach teachers, learners/students and parents, to help learners/students make an informed decision about the career opportunities available in the ever changing the world we live in. We are collating a list of schools/colleges throughout the South West who we can share the podcast series with, and so if you have any direct contacts we can add to this list please let me know.
- Future Skills Theme Group: CESW re-jigged its theme groups earlier this year to include the Future Skills theme group. The Future Skills theme group has aims aligned with G4CSW. We attended the first 2 theme group meetings to discuss the agenda for the group, and we look forward to working with everyone involved.
- Constructing the future report: We helped produce the Constructing the Future report (link: New construction report reveals how to breathe new life into ageing industry – Constructing Excellence SW). The report looks at the current recruitment problem within the industry (and its aging workforce), and the barriers which discourage young people from pursuing a career in the industry. The report contains several recommendations to help encourage the next generation to get involved with the industry, which G4CSW are helping to implement.
- Breakfast events: We have hosted 2 breakfast networking events in Bristol and Gloucester. The aim of these events was to spread the word of G4CSW, discuss our strategy and agenda, and establish a ‘pool’ of G4CSW contacts who we can call upon to assist with careers events at schools/colleges etc. We have 2 more breakfast events planned in Exeter and Truro this year. Our plan is to roll out more regular networking events simultaneously across the South West next year.
- Existing initiatives: We have been researching existing initiatives in the South West who are already working hard to address the diminishing labour supply. We have begun to team up with them on events. For example, our G4CSW contacts will be presenting their projects to a large group of students at the Battle of the Builds event in Exeter on 15 July 2022. Our G4CSW contacts will also be taking part in the Green Construction Panel’s pack of ‘Top Trumps’.
If you have any young professionals in your business who would be interested in becoming a G4CSW contact, whether that is to attend our networking events or take part in careers events with students/learners, they can sign up using the following form: G4C South West Sign-Up Form (office.com). We suggest they follow us on social media as well: Twitter (@G4Csw), LinkedIn (@G4C South West) and Instagram (@g4csw).
Myself and my committee are also more than happy to discuss G4CSW direct if anyone has any specific questions.
Hopefully by next time I am asked to update you, we will have even more good news to share!