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Inquiry into construction and youth employment

Posted: 6th August 2013

A group of Parliamentarians from both Houses is launching an Inquiry into boosting youth employment and training on the back of construction and housing investment.

The cross-party group is calling on construction clients, including local authorities and housing associations, construction companies and other relevant stakeholders, to submit evidence. In particular it is seeking examples of using capital investment in housing and construction projects to create employment and training for young people, and ways that barriers and challenges can be overcome.

The Inquiry is being jointly chaired by Lord Richard Best and the Rt Hon Nick Raynsford MP. Other parliamentarians involved are Peter Aldous MP,

Baroness Susan Kramer, Annette Brooke MP and Baroness Angela Smith.

The Inquiry is being supported by the Chartered Institute of Building, the Construction Industry Training Board and the main charities involved in getting young people into construction work.

Joint chair Lord Best said: “We are expecting to see extra investment into new homes and infrastructure projects over the months ahead. But how can we ensure that the UK’s £100bn construction investment will lead to new jobs and new skills for the growing army of unemployed young people in this country?

“With an unprecedented one million young people in England not in employment, education or training our Inquiry is an attempt to secure two benefits from a growth in construction: not just new homes and better infrastructure, but training and employment for these 16 to 24 year olds currently facing a bleak future.”

The Inquiry is inviting evidence that sheds light on the barriers to employing young people and training, what changes in policy and practice would help improve the situation, and examples of best practice. The panel is particularly interested to hear of schemes that are operating at scale, or could be scaled up.

Suggested areas that evidence might cover, though this is by no means exclusive, are as follows:

  • Levering spending power: how do we get the industry and clients to do more to use their investment in construction projects to train and skill more young people? What are the problems that need to be overcome? Are contracts that enshrine training and local employment sufficiently monitored? What solutions are out there?
  • Improving mechanisms for employment and training through the supply chain: how can construction train and skill up more young people? Can contracts be organised to ensure training and employment opportunities are fostered down the supply chain? What about funding and the mechanisms for funding? Would direct payments for apprentices, as suggested by the Government, be effective?
  • What works best for young people: how do we improve engagement particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds? How can we ensure that colleges and industry work more closely together?

Evidence needs to be submitted by September 18. We hope to invite as many people as we can to give oral evidence during sessions in October and November. The report is expected to be published at a House of Commons reception towards the end of January 2014.

We would appreciate it if evidence could be kept as succinct as possible [no more than a few sides of A4, without additional attachments].

Evidence should be submitted to