According to the State of Dorset report 2017, 36% of the Dorset workforce is aged over 50 compared with 28% in England. Older workers have the benefit of skills and experience but need replacement as they retire.
An increase of 25% to 35% in the proportion of workforce with Level 4 qualifications or higher is set out in the Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy.
According to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), 15% of employers in Dorset (4,400 asked with around 15,800 employees assessed) reported a skills gap.
Skills training and apprenticeships are important to ensure that housing can be built at the right pace. According to the National Audit Office, every £1 of Government funding spent on apprenticeships delivers an economic benefit of £18.
Local colleges and schools provide vocational qualifications, often through apprenticeships in partnership with employers.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) plays a leading role in driving up skills and standards. It is a partner in ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry. Visit www.citb.co.uk for more information.
Go Construct is an industry led body to encourage more young people into the construction sector. Among its services are visits to schools by construction ambassadors. Visit www.goconstruct.org to find out more.