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Diversity is key to tackling skills shortage, says FPS chairman

Attracting a diverse workforce to the construction industry is critical in dealing with the impending skills shortage, according to FPS chairman Martin Blower.

Speaking at GE’s 2015 Piling and Foundations Conference, Blower highlighted the importance of being able to “access the deepest and widest pool of talent”. Integral to this is ensuring that more young people, regardless of gender or ethnicity, are attracted to the industry when considering a long-term career.

Blower said: “Children often love the idea of construction at five years old, but why do we lose them? I believe it’s because it’s not seen as a well-paid and exciting industry.

“Without the status of a doctor or lawyer, parents tend to direct their children away from our industry. This shouldn’t be the case,” he added. “There are a broad range of skills that are required to work in the industry. It’s not all about big machines and dirty area sites.”

As reported by GE earlier this month, the FPS’s drive to target the skills issue is highlighted in a new video aimed at attracting new talent to the industry.

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