Under a S106 Agreement, the developer has obligations to provide a number of employment & skills initiatives that benefit the local community. The developer may pass these obligations down to the main contractor who may in turn pass down to their supply chain. In some instances there may be financial implications for not achieving the targets.
S106 agreements/employment & skills obligations have been around for a number of years when local authorities are procuring developments. In January 2016, the Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy* was published. This was developed by Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chair on behalf of the then Secretary of State, Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP. This strategy seeks to build on the work done at Crossrail to develop skills within the rail sector and apply it across all infrastructure projects in Britain.
“There is a golden opportunity to make transport the career of choice for young people, to increase the diversity of the transport workforce, to grow the number of transport apprentices and to raise skills levels throughout the sector. We are also laying the foundations for making 2018 a year to celebrate our nation’s engineering achievements and to inspire the next generation of engineers.”
Transport infrastructure skills strategy: Building sustainable skills, moving Britain ahead.
It is widely acknowledged that there is a shortage of skills in the construction sector and that more work needs to be done to attract young people into the sector. In the Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model: Modernise or Die, October 16**, Mark Farmer stated: “Deep-seated problems have existed for many years and are well known and rehearsed, yet despite that, there appears to be a collective reluctance or inability to address these issues and set a course for modernisation.”
“The real ticking ‘time bomb’ is that of the industry’s workforce size and demographic. Based purely on existing workforce age and current levels of new entrant attraction, we could see a 20-25% decline in the available labour force within a decade.”
Can we afford not to do anything?
We all have our part to play to ensure that we train new people with the correct skills that are required for the construction sector in the future and that we maintain and upskill our existing workforce to meet the challenges ahead. It is also vital that we take an active role in attracting new people to the sector. Many people do not realise the range and variety of roles that exist and the opportunities to progress a career within the sector.
So how does all this fit into S106/ Employment & Skills obligations?
I believe that it is an opportunity for companies to do their bit in promoting the industry to the local community, encouraging young people into the sector and offering work experience, apprentice and job opportunities to the local people.
You may agree with me but then think, how do we go about doing all this?
Strive Development can work with you and your site teams to develop and manage an effective Employment & Skills Plan to achieve your obligations. Through doing this you will raise your company profile in the community, enhance relationships with the local authority and develop talent within your organisation.