Last edited 12 Jan 2021

UKCES offsite construction skills evaluation

On 21 October 2015, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) published the findings of the first productivity challenge of the UK Futures Programme. See UKCES Futures Programme evaluation: offsite construction.

The findings relate to a series of case studies intended to assess the offsite construction sector. Five skills projects piloted different approaches to improving sectoral collaboration and training opportunities for new and existing workers:

The final evaluation was presented in the form of three briefing papers:

Areas addressed through the five projects included; management skills, operational skills and developing contextual understanding of the offsite construction sector. The findings based on the delivery of the projects included:

It was suggested that the findings are applicable to wider sectors, as well as offsite construction.

Rob Francis, director of innovation and business improvement at Skanska, said, “This challenge allowed us to look at something in a completely different way, and to take it forward together. It is clear that change in the sector needs to be a long-term commitment.

Dr Bill McGinnis CBE, former chair of the McAvoy Group (offsite solutions) and former UKCES Commissioner, said: “Although the scale of the skills challenges is greater than can be addressed through 6 month projects, this challenge has catalysed the start of, in the words of one of our project leads, ‘a 10 year change programme’ to ensure it has the skilled people it needs to fulfil its potential.”

Carol Stanfield, assistant director at UKCES, said: “The Challenge has supported businesses in the off-site construction sector to tackle specific issues prompted by technological developments. However, much of the learning that we gathered from these projects, about collaboration and sharing best practice, is applicable to any sector facing similar technological change – something that is currently affecting almost the entire economy.

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