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Tideway to tackle skills shortage in construction

Tideway has joined other key players in construction by signing up to an innovative digital scheme aiming to help plug the industry's skills gap.

SkillsPlanner is an online platform inviting employers, skills providers and other stakeholders to share information on their workforces, to identify current and future employment needs and skills shortages.

It is estimated 180,000 new skilled entrants will be needed to deliver construction projects in the capital and the South East by 2019.

Tideway joins HS2, Crossrail, planning authorities including Westminster, Islington and Camden, main contractors, supply chains, training providers and industry bodies in signing up.

Scott Young, Skills and Employment Manager, said: "Major projects like the Thames Tideway Tunnel rely on access to a highly skilled labour market in order to build our workforce. We are also committed to creating employment opportunities and apprenticeships for local residents.

"By fostering a more collaborative approach between employers, local training providers and jobs advisers that is data-led, SkillsPlanner has the potential to create an environment in which those seeking work have a better understanding of the available roles, are adequately trained to secure employment and which in turn provides a solution to current industry skills shortages."

SkillsPlanner has been awarded £827,000 development funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The project is an initiative of Ethos VO, a growing network of social entrepreneurs who find innovative and sustainable solutions to complex problems. Ethos and project partners secured the funding through the 'Solving Urban Challenges with Data' competition.

The two-year project, based on a powerful Linked Open Data platform created by technology leader and project partner Seme4, will focus on the London construction industry.

It will allow skills providers to define existing provision and develop demand-led training and will let businesses benefit from more sustainable procurement of local labour, with reduced resource and HR costs.

SkillsPlanner project director Rebecca Lovelace says: "SkillsPlanner is an Ethos ‘perfect storm’. It demonstrates how a genuinely collaborative approach can create an economically viable solution to a complex urban challenge, resulting in a positive social outcome."

The core SkillsPlanner project partners are: Ethos (lead partner), Association of Colleges, Camden Council, Good People, Islington Council, Plymouth University, Seme4, Tideway, and Westminster Council.