It’s safe to say, the long-awaited and hotly anticipated London Build lived up to our expectations!
As a people business, we’ve missed being able to get out there and spend time with others in the industry. So we couldn’t have been more excited to be heading to London on 17th-18th November..
It was great to meet new people and catch up with long time supporters of Skilled Labour Services – many of whom we haven’t seen ‘in real life’ for quite some time.
What’s more, we were a team on a mission!
A mission to raise awareness of the importance of mental health matters in the construction industry.
And a mission to raise much-needed funds for industry charity The Lighthouse Club.
The Lighthouse Club works tirelessly to support workers in an industry where every working day in the UK sees two construction workers taking their own lives whilst stress, anxiety and depression accounts for one fifth of all work related absences in our industry.
Like all charities, The Lighthouse Club was hit hard by the pandemic – at a time when many construction workers faced more uncertainty than ever before and needed help.
Skilled Labour Services founder Rich Allen is a passionate believer that, collectively, the construction industry can (and should) do more to help look after our workforces and chose the return of London Build as the perfect time to launch his next fundraising challenge.
If you know Rich you probably know he’s ‘a bit of a runner’. In fact, he’s set himself the target of completing his 50th (yes – his 50th!) marathon at the 2022 London Marathon whilst raising vital funds for The Lighthouse Club.
Thank you to everyone who visited our stand and supported our fundraising efforts. More than 240 people visited us to put their own bricks in the wall of our charity lighthouse.
Our lighthouse for the Lighthouse Club
At the last count we had raised £280 which is a great start to Rich’s bumper marathon effort. We’ll be sharing more about the challenge in 2022, but in the meantime, below are some pictures of the lighthouse under construction.
Can you spot your brick?
An Industry Temperature Check
Before heading to London Build it was hard to tell if our perception of the challenges facing the construction industry were also being experienced further afield. However, having spoken to many people across the industry, it’s fair to say the impact of material shortages, labour shortages and rising costs are being felt across the industry and it’s made for a challenging year!
But we sense that change is in the air. We are already seeing some companies suffer the impact of pandemic support schemes coming to an end, resulting in there being more people out there looking for work.
Inspiring The Next Generation
The great thing about events like London Build is the opportunity to speak to people you probably never usually would.
When they weren’t building a Lego lighthouse the team was delighted to take the opportunity to speak with young people, students and apprentices – the next generation of construction workers.
It was disappointing to hear from many of the young people about the challenges of gaining hands-on industry work experience due to the demand for competent and experienced workers. This is something we see first hand when speaking to clients.
The construction industry has an ageing workforce which means it’s critical the industry works together to attract and train the next generation of construction workers. But when clients demand (and indeed – need) competent experienced workers who get to work as soon as they arrive on site, it’s clear that something needs to change in order to stave off an impending staffing crisis.
Greater Gender Diversity In Construction
We were delighted to meet many high achieving women in construction who are important role models for young women considering a career in construction.
Whilst it’s clear that gender diversity is improving in some areas of the industry, and we are proud to have a small number of female site operatives ‘on the books’, our experience is that attracting female tradespeople and site operatives is still extremely challenging.
What’s Next For Construction?
Construction always has been, and always will be, a challenging industry.
Collectively we need industry leaders to be drivers for change; increasing diversity in our workforces across the board; providing more opportunities for young people to learn their trade and hone their skills to reduce the risk of the ageing workforce.; and working together to keep our teams healthy – both mentally and physically.
How Skilled Labour Services Is Contributing To Change
Skilled Labour Services strive to offer an alternative to other labour agencies by taking care of our workforce as well as our clients. As an organisation we are committed to; taking opportunities to drive change in the industry; improving working conditions for our teams; increasing diversity in our workforce; and achieving the very best H&S standards possible.
If you’d like to find out more about working with us and supporting our mission to create positive change in the industry, contact the team on 02392 652 138.