May 16, 2020

Carillion update: 64% of employees in new employment, contract uncertainty remains

uk construction
Construction employment
Tom Wadlow
2 min
construction site
The Official Receiver overseeing the liquidating process of UK construction firm Carillion has confirmed that almost two thirds of its workforce have fo...

The Official Receiver overseeing the liquidating process of UK construction firm Carillion has confirmed that almost two thirds of its workforce have found new employment.

Work has been found for 64% of the firm’s staff, which equates to 11,637 jobs being saved, while 12% (2,303 people) have been made redundant so far.

The industry is facing a skills shortage on a global scale, with numerous reports pointing towards an increased use in construction automation and robotics as a means of plugging the gap.  

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Around 3,000 Carillion employees have been retained in order for the company to continue delivery of certain contracts while new suppliers are sourced.

The UK’s Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, confirmed that at the time of liquidation, Carillion was sat on transport contracts worth some £3.5bn ($4.66bn).

There are also some high-profile hospital projects on hold in the wake of the company’s collapse, namely the Royal Liverpool Hospital contract and the $478mn Midland Metropolitan Hospital agreement, with redundancies on both already announced.

It is thought that Skanska will take on Midland Metropolitan Hospital, with Laing O’Rourke set to take over the Royal Liverpool job.

The Official Receiver also revealed that around 1,100 more Carillion employees have left the company during the liquidation, either through finding new work, retirement or due to other circumstances.  

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Jun 11, 2021

Apprenticeships can bridge skills gap says Autodesk director

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Construction Skills Network says UK industry must fill 216,800 posts by 2025

The UK construction industry needs 216,800 new workers by 2025 to meet rising demand, according to the Construction Skills Network published by CITB.

Even before Covid-19, it was estimated it needs to attract 400,000 new recruits each year to meet the UK’s infrastructure needs.

But given one in three current construction employees are over 50 there is predicted to be a 20-25% decline in the available workforce over the next decade. And with end of the free movement of people from the EU, it has further limited access to skilled talent.

Mike Pettinella, Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions EMEA, believes the solution may be one that is hardly new, but might have taken a back seat during the pandemic.

"Apprenticeships could help us bridge the construction skills gap and meet this rapidly rising demand, and attract a new crop of younger talent to the industry," he said.

"Apprenticeships benefit everyone. For candidates, it’s an opportunity to learn valuable skills without incurring thousands of pounds of student debts. For employers, it’s a chance to train up employees in the competencies that are really needed – combining technical knowledge with collaboration and team work, which are equally important as you enter a new industry. And if you’re a larger company and already required to pay the apprenticeship levy, it makes sense to ensure you’re benefitting from the scheme too."

Marshall Construction recently took on nine new apprenticeships covering various roles. "Some of our previous apprentices have left and started their own businesses, which sets them up for life," said Chairman Robert Marshall. "Most of our current managers came from organic growth within the business whom we have trained to our own standards." Firms such as Barnwood Construction and Keepmoat Homes are also advertising and supporting apprenticeships.

According to the CSN, most English regions will experience an increase in construction workers by 2025, with East Midlands (1.7%) and West Midlands (1.4%) forecast to lead demand. Scotland (1.4%) and Wales (0.7%) are also predicted to fare well. The only region forecast to see a slight decline in workforce is the North East (-0.1%).

Major projects such as HS2 are driving growth in some regions and infrastructure (5.2%) and private housing (6.7%) should see the healthiest pace of expansion by 2025.

The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the future shape of work will be profound. Modelling by the McKinsey Global Institute on the effects of technology adoption on the UK workforce shows that up to 10 million people, or around 30 percent of all UK workers, may need to transition between occupations or skill levels by 2030.

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