todayJuly 28, 2021
Headlines like Long COVID and Skills Shortages Means a Tough Winter for Construction Industry, and, Demand for Construction Workers close to a 20-year High, is a small sample of some of the UK articles about the skills shortage issue in the construction industry.
In fact, even before the pandemic, an article on 29th January 2020 in Construction Europe stated that,
While the United Kingdom is the territory that is experiencing the most challenging situation due to pre-pandemic skills shortage combined with not only COVID-19 but also Brexit, there are plenty of other countries around the world facing the same scenario.
We have been investigating this subject and discovered an excellent solution by Creating Enterprise in North Wales.
Llwyn Eirin is named after one of the town’s most ancient products – the Denbigh Plum. It will be comprised of Passivhaus standard homes certified by Beattie Passive. Creating Enterprise are Beattie Passive’s delivery partner for North Wales. They have entered into a licence agreement to exclusively build the very best in terms of energy efficiency, carbon zero homes, certified by Beattie Passive.
Work has already started on this site. Creating Enterprise will be onsite until Autumn and the development is due to be completed in Spring 2022. Brenig Construction is the principal contractor working on behalf of Denbighshire Housing and Denbighshire Council.
On the Llywyn Eirin site and across all of their developments in North Wales, Creating Enterprise is providing sustainable employment opportunities to locals who gain skills and hopefully later go onto permanent employment.
Due to the simplicity of the build system, the designs produce high performance, low-cost homes using local semi-skilled labour, solving skills shortage issues. It provides opportunities for local unemployed people who are furthest from the job market to retrain and benefit both financially and socially from a return to the workplace.
Trainees learn new skills whilst working alongside qualified trades in new methods of construction enabling them to better themselves and their future prospects.
Creating Enterprise believes that training and skills development of local communities (e.g. apprenticeships and work experience) are fundamental to developing long term sustainable construction solutions and this will continue to be a key focus of the partnership with Beattie Passive.
The more homes that are built like this, the more income it is possible to generate to meet the important social purpose of creating employment opportunities for tenants and the local community.
Carter was the first volunteer on our modular construction site in Holyhead, Anglesey. Having walked past the development every morning while taking his younger siblings to school, one day he popped in to ask for some work experience and he hasn’t looked back since. Carter gained employment with our Employment Academy as a Modular Assistant and spent a year working on developments.
“I just love it. I get on well with everyone on-site and I’m learning every day. I feel like I am a different person.”Carter
When Tom found himself facing redundancy as an Apprentice Joiner, he came to Creating Futures for employment support. When the Employment Academy role came up working with the Modular Solutions team, Tom jumped at the opportunity. With the support of the team he successfully applied and gained a 12-month contract working in our factory and development sites building Modular, energy-efficient Passivhaus standard homes certified by Beattie Passive.
“I was so grateful for this opportunity to boost my skills in a completely new area. I had never ever considered I could be building timber frame homes for local people across North Wales I was glad that I could offer the skills I’d already gained, but also have the opportunity to continue to learn: working in the factory and on the sites. I have learnt so much in my year at the Academy, gaining valuable experience and training I have enjoyed coming to work every day and being part of such a great team.
My mentor supported me throughout and gave me the confidence to apply for a permanent position when it came up with Creating Enterprise. I was successful with my application and now have a permanent position with an organisation where I can continue to learn and develop my skills alongside a supportive onsite team.”Tom Woodward
Tom Woodward successfully came through the Academy and has now joined the Creating Enterprise team in a permanent position as a full-time multi-trade joiner and is currently working on the Glanrafon development site.
This skills shortage solution is not only resolving an important issue but it is also changing lives. Not only does it change the lives of people like Carter and Tom, but it also touches the lives of the local people who will live in these homes.
These Beattie Passivhaus standard homes offer significant benefits to the occupant:
Creating Enterprise has devised a win-win situation!
Written by: Jackie De Burca