SkillsPlanner is a two-year, £1.3m research and development programme aimed at creating a data-powered solution to resolve UK construction skills shortages by better matching of future skills needs and industry capacity to deliver those skills. It was formally launched at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on 24 February 2016.
It is funded by Innovate UK and its project partners - Ethos, Association of Colleges, Camden, Islington and Westminster councils, GoodPeople, Seme4, Tideway, and University of Plymouth - and is initially focused on the London construction sector with an intention to develop and grow across the UK.
SkillsPlanner will be a live, accessible and user-friendly data platform that aims to make ‘real time’ skills data visible to multiple stakeholders. It will be based on a cutting edge Linked and Open Data platform that can aggregate, integrate and analyse skills data from a variety of sources to provide a valuable ’real time’ picture of the skills landscape, mapping industry demand against current training provision.
The long-term aim is that SkillsPlanner will enable the construction industry, known for its fragmented approach to skills planning, to become more collaborative, connected and efficient. The ambition is to enable the transformation of skills provision to meet employer needs and thus reduce industry skills gaps. Providing a response to the regional recommendations captured within research such as ‘Skills to Build’ (London Chamber of Commerce & Industry/KPMG, 2014), and national ambition such as the National Infrastructure Plan for Skills, the ultimate objectives of SkillsPlanner are that it will:
- Support and inform the development of skills and employment requirements in procurement contracts.
- Allow construction employers to understand the local skills base better and thus benefit resource planning.
- Inform training providers (in designing new training courses and apprenticeship frameworks) to develop demand-led and commercially-viable training programmes that better meet the needs of industry, as well as enabling collaboration between providers.
- Allow councils to more efficiently utilise planning obligations, with a far greater awareness of the reality of skills available and local labour needed.
- Provide job brokerage organisations with far greater visibility as to local skills demand and enable providers to operate more effectively and efficiently.
- Enable schools and education providers to provide more clarity on job opportunities and career pathways within construction at a local level.
- Add value to local employment support schemes by providing information on, and access to, employment and training opportunities at a regional level.
- Enable a greater understanding of diversity within the construction industry and training provision.
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