Skills shortages within building products and the wider built environment is an often batted around topic. Therefore, rather than use this an opportunity to rant, it is good to share positive methods companies are using to tackle the issue.

My hat is tipped having read about Morgan Sindalls approach to enticing people back. Via their HR Director, Dawn Moore, they have driven a "Returnship Programme". Fundamentally their focus is on bringing back those past workers who have decided to leave the business. Personally, I have witnessed droves of highly skilled, senior workers becoming disenchanted with the industry, especially as a result of the recession of nine years ago.

A lot of these people decided to retrain in a completely different sector or take unskilled work. Ok, I appreciate that certain pockets of the industry are not reporting the greatest set of expectations for the coming year, but there is still a mass opportunity for these individuals should they be ripe for luring back in.

The COO of Mace, Gareth Lewis, has recently made a hugely poignant point around the fact that the built environment respects non-graduate potential. I sit next to colleagues who occasionally become frustrated that clients in other industries are hellbent on candidates having an industry-recognised degree or higher. This is not necessarily the case in construction.

Mace also promote a volunteer day for its workers, where they go into local schools to drive the positive message of construction as a vocation. They are attempting to quash the stigma of the industry being male-dominated by including their law and IT departments in this venture too. I would advise that you check out their "Foundations for Futures" scheme as well. 

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