The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has spoken out about the growing concern for shortages of qualified scaffolders after a recent survey found its contributing to ‘suffocating growth’ within the construction industry
The survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found shortages of scaffolders, bricklayers, carpenters and electrical engineers. They now fear these shortages could last for ‘years’.
Dave Mosley, NASC Training Director, exclusively spoke to Scaffmag to give his reaction to the findings of the research.
He said “NASC recognises that overcoming labour shortages both now and in the medium-term presents a huge challenge to the whole of construction. While this issue has been exacerbated by the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, it was by no means been created by them. The need to address the skills gap has been understood by NASC and the scaffolding sector for some time.
“NASC has a number of projects and initiatives in place to raise awareness of the benefits of taking up a career in scaffolding to a variety of jobseekers, all of which are aimed at bringing more people into the scaffolding industry.
“We are working closely with partners such as the Department for Work and Pensions and Ministry of Justice to help promote a wide range of opportunities within our membership, which we communicate to jobseekers through the NASC’s dedicated scaffolding careers website.
“Our work with DWP has led to the creation of the NASC Kickstart Gateway, via which close to 500 six-month work experience placements at 80+ NASC member companies across the UK have been made available to young people. Nearly 100 of these placements have been filled to date.
“The NASC continues to offer financial incentives to its members to support the training of new scaffolding industry employees. These include a £50,000 funding pot through which NASC Contractor members can claim up to £125 per operative for completing the New Entrant, CISRS Operative Training Scheme, and a £150,000 fund to re-train ex-Military personnel.
“The NASC understands that tackling the skills shortage is crucial if the scaffolding industry wants to continue to thrive. There is no “quick fix” however, through initiatives like those outlined above we must strive to promote scaffolding to as wide an audience as possible.”
“We’re excited to share these with you in more detail in the next issue of Scaffmag.”