Education secretary acknowledges industry skills challenges

THE National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) welcomed its members to the UK Parliament this week for a reception focused on making sure politicians understand the skills needs of the industry.

Members from a range of NASC member companies were joined by MPs and Lords for the event, held in association with the National Federation of Builders (NFB).

They were addressed by UK secretary of state for education and skills, Gillian Keegan MP. She said, “I know that the construction industry has serious skills challenges and I know how important it is to educate people who take an out of date, short-term view about the careers offered by your sector. I understand that it offers great opportunities here and around the world.

“We need to make sure that it is showcased in schools so that young people can see what’s available to them. I welcome the work that the NASC and the NFB are doing to highlight how dynamic and rewarding construction can be.”

Those in attendance also heard from NASC president David Brown, who spoke about his commitment to ensuring that the confederation is leading the way when it comes to upskilling workers. He said, “If we don’t have the skilled, motivated people, we won’t have the successful access and scaffolding businesses.

“Training is the cornerstone of our industry’s success, driving innovation, safety, and excellence in every aspect of our work. Since 2022 NASC has supported through investment over £180,000 in supporting our members through the President’s Training Fund and later this month NASC launches the Talent Solution, linking exciting new candidates to committed quality employers.”

Clive Dickin, NASC CEO, added, “Retaining talent and recruiting talent is the number one challenge facing the scaffolding and access sector in the UK. NASC has today set out on a journey of engagement with parliamentarians to address the macro education and training talent pool and the way the sector, develops a pool of excited and energised candidates to join an amazing sector.”