Holding onto the best to build a better future

Shaun Wadsworth outlines the support available to out-of-work labour and apprentices in order to help retain their talent in construction.

AT the end of October, the nine months of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) available to employers and the self-employed will officially come to an end. At the time of writing there are some incredible statistics on the numbers of employers that utilised CJRS to ensure employed staff could at some point ‘hopefully’ return to work. In construction alone 171,400 employers accessed the scheme, a take up rate of 75% of the construction industry as a whole. Meaning the total value of claims made in construction comes in at a staggering £2.3bn, just under 10% of the whole total value of claims made from the scheme.

Unfortunately for some, even with CJRS safeguarding short-term job losses, it cannot ensure everybody has a job to go back to once the scheme has ended. There’ll inevitably be a huge increase in redundancies once CJRS ends, depleting a sector like construction of skilled workers and apprentices learning their trade.

The scale of this can be seen in the fact that in the flooring sector, only nine months ago, we didn’t have enough skills and labour to meet demand.

The priority then has to be to stop any skills and labour being made redundant and leaving the construction industry completely. Government is partnering with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to address this head on.

As a result, CLC has established the government-backed ‘Construction’ Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) designed to match job opportunities to individuals seeking employment. The TRS is a not-for-profit programme, supported by business associations, member companies, professional institutions, unions and other stakeholder organisations and will give displaced workers a route to find new employment in construction.

Designed with employers and potential candidates in mind, the scheme boasts it can help employers by offering:

A dedicated resourcing and talent management platform supporting corporate redeployment, recruitment and skills development activities across all sectors of construction;

  • A simple, easy to use platform which enables companies to search for and recruit quality individuals and promote an unlimited number of vacancies;
  • Fully featured system with direct contact between companies and individuals;
  • The active promotion of candidates through their online profile and CV, to interested organisations locally, regionally and nationally;
  • Tailored company pages and microsites to promote your business, services, latest vacancies, news and events;
  • 24/7 visibility of individuals affected by corporate restructuring activities and access to vacancies from interested companies;

For candidates looking to find new work in the construction sector the scheme offers;

  • Direct promotion of candidates, through an online profile and CV, to interested organisations, both regionally and nationally;
  • A dedicated resourcing portal providing direct contact between companies and individuals;
  • Automated job alerts and saved searches to keep in touch with any new opportunities;
  • A 24/7 presence providing local exposure to interested companies with visibility and access to their vacancies;
  • A simple, easy-to-use system with tracking and management of your applications and any expressions of interest you receive.

This portal can be used to search for permanent and contract roles as well as apprenticeships. Employers can even use the portal with current staff going through redundancy processes to reduce the time in between work. To access the portal simply follow the link https://www.trs-system.co.uk/construction

CITB has also announced its Covid-19 Displaced Apprentice Project team will be reaching out to apprentices impacted by the pandemic.

CITB will work with them to find alternative employment where possible, or signpost them to other support services, including the Talent Retention Scheme.

Apprentices will also be supported by CITB with the more practical elements, such as developing CVs and interview preparation, to provide the best possible chance at securing employment. If you’re an employer willing to take on an apprentice that has been made redundant, register with the Talent Retention Scheme, or get in touch with CITB – it’s vital we don’t lose these people from our industry.

Finally, and as always, the CFA is also on hand to help with any needs of the industry. From the beginning of the pandemic we’ve ensured vital information regarding all matters of floorlaying and construction are constantly shared.

If you have not done so already then please feel free to join our LinkedIn community The Commercial Flooring Industry Forum – hosted by the Contract Flooring Association. There we regularly post updated information from government, Build UK, CITB, CPA and much more.
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