The UK construction industry faces an on-going challenge of addressing its skills shortages. This paper examines employer participation in skills and training initiatives in light of the current UK government skills policy. A major telephone survey of 1, 200 small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) revealed that the participation in skills and training initiatives was focused more on qualifying their existing workforce (i.e. the formal recognition/certification of existing operative skills) rather than on taking on new entrants or enhancing management competence. The main reasons for this were seen to be the need to comply with client contract requirements rather than a desire to enhance performance and/or productivity. However, SMEs regard new entrant training as an area of high priority in the future given their concerns over capacity constraints within the sector. The results have significant implications for government skills policy given its espoused ‘ demand-led’ ethos and promotion of skills/training as a vehicle for attaining performance and/or productivity improvements.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Construction Information Quarterly|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|