Alison Watson: generating the ‘iGen’ pipeline for the construction industry
This article courtesy of the AECmag about encouraging the next generation is right up our street. It features the highly respected Alison Watson (MBE) and how important her work is if we are going to successfully compete with ‘sexier’ career options to capture the best talent early.
It’s fantastic to see there is now a long-term strategy for educating secondary school students on the breadth and depth of worthwhile opportunities to be found in construction.
With sponsors getting the pick of the crop for their apprenticeships and degree programmes we should start seeing the skills gap shrink.
But why has it taken 10 years? And why aren’t more sponsors knocking on the door?
Is it because companies don’t have the time or money to invest in apprentices and/or that they need talent that can ‘touch the ground feet running‘? Surely this is a short sighted and more expensive way of growing a team? As the article states, students with a ‘DEC qualification’ can have up to 5 years’ software experience and the skills and understanding to give them a good head-start – hardly sluggish! With average salaries for a BIM Trainee (see BIM salary guides) at c.£20k you could hire two for the average salary of an experienced BIM Technician – and without the baggage. Whether you hire someone experienced or a trainee, you still have to teach them how your particular company works.
I think companies that are not hiring apprentices/graduates are part of the problem!
And then there’s the bigger picture: What’s in it for me? It’s all well and good ‘lighting the fire‘ but without oxygen the flame will flicker and die. Part 2 next week.