Summit puts construction industry on the map for Coventry

Local employment and skills needs in the construction sector were the subjects of importance at a recent high level industry Summit.

Organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the think tank Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), the Construction Summit brought together the region’s Councillors, local construction firms and training providers to look at the role of the construction industry across the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

The July event was the latest in a national series which examines the important role that local Government plays in supporting the construction sector and local skills needs.

The Summit featured a welcome from Cllr Kevin Maton, cabinet member for Business, Enterprise and Employment at Coventry City Council, followed by an introduction from LGiU Chief Executive Jonathan Carr-West.

Judy Lowe, Deputy Chairman for CITB, also used the latest labour market intelligence to explain the state of the construction sector and its skills base, and provided ideas for discussion on the area’s local skills needs.

Local construction businesses such as Vagdia and Holmes Architects, Kingsley Group and Power Generation JTL were also in attendance, and delegates took part in breakout sessions to discuss skills needs and solutions for the LEP area, one of which was hosted by Architect Dhiran Vagdia; he said;

“Industry skills are of course always an important matter.  But now, as the Industry steadily climbs its way out of the recession, maintaining and encouraging the skills of our workforce is probably one of the most important concerns for us all.”

Catherine Bullough, Sector Strategy Manager for the West Midlands region at CITB commented:

“This summit highlights the real passion that the construction industry can spark if it’s given the opportunity, but also highlights the fact that a lot more work needs to be done to promote the sector on a local level.  We at CITB believe that giving people the right skills and training opportunities throughout their career in the construction industry will have a positive impact for years to come and we work hard to deliver this.”

Cllr Kevin Maton , Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment said;

“We have been clear that creating jobs and supporting people, including young people,  into work is a top priority.  Ensuring people have the right skills so they can access the jobs on offer is really important.  We already do this really well in Coventry – but we can always learn from more people, so I’m delighted that we are hosting this event which brings together industry experts and employers from across our region.”