RESPONDING TO THE Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) report on construction workers needed by 2025 Unite the Union has issued a statement pointing to employment standards.
In order to meet the UK’s building needs, Unite national officer Jerry Swain, said: “Over the coming years, construction workers will form the backbone of the country’s plans to meet its climate obligations and the need for more housing and faster, greener transport links.
“The CITB is right that these challenges will not be met unless tens of thousands of new construction workers are trained in the next few years. The industry cannot hope to meet this need unless employment standards in the construction industry are cleaned up.
“The construction industry treats workers as if they are part of the gig economy. The effect of this is that many construction workers are bogusly self-employed, leaving them with no job security or career prospects.
“With this type of treatment, it is hard to see how future workers will be attracted to construction.
“Recent reports from the Construction Leadership Council and the Electrotechnical Joint Industry Board have highlighted that the lack of direct employment is disastrous for apprentice training.
“It also removes any hope of career progression and stymies the industry’s capacity to invest in training the future generation of construction workers.
“There needs to be not only a radical change in how workers are employed but also how they are treated.
‘It cannot simply be a change in employment status, we must create the opportunity for career progression from the shop floor.”
CITB says it will soon be announcing plans to tackle specific skills and occupations such as leadership and management, digital skills and skills related to energy efficiency.