Skills East Sussex sector task groups

Construction & Civil Engineering Task Group

Construction is a significant industry in East Sussex. With many small businesses and sole traders, jobs are 46% above the national average for the working population.

The Construction Task Group meets to support the strategic priorities of Skills East Sussex concerning the industry.  Civil Engineering is also represented in this group.

The group includes  local employers such as:

  • GM Monk Ltd
  • Cheesmur Building Contractors Ltd
  • Hailsham Roadways Construction Co. Ltd
  • Hawes Building Contractors
  • East Sussex Highways.

Other members include national construction employers, especially when they have building contracts in East Sussex.  Organisations whose work include major building also sit on the group. These include:

  • Volker Fitzpatrick
  • Morgan Sindall
  • Optivo.

Education and training representatives include:

  • East Sussex College Group
  • Construction Industry Training Board
  • University of Brighton
  • employment and skills departments of the local authorities.

The task group is chaired by Scott Monk of GM Monk Ltd.

Careers Hub Case Study Scott Monk
Chair Scott Monk

Chair Scott Monk, Director of GM Monk Ltd

Chairing the Construction task group allows Scott to use his knowledge and expertise from the education, construction and careers sector. He directs the group towards some of the key objectives that East Sussex County Council have set in relation to employment, education and the construction industry. He chairs a very positive and engaged group of people which allows the Task Group to tackle some of the limiting factors in construction.

Task group achievements to date

  • Endorsement of a University of Brighton bid. The bid secured £100K for development of degree level construction apprenticeships.
  • Endorsement of an East Sussex College bid to the Construction Industry Training Board. The bid was for a mobile Construction Hub to enable more flexible training and delivery.
  • Input into the curriculum, including the new T-Levels at East Sussex College Group (ESCG).
  • Key work with Sussex Council of Training Providers (SCTP) to support engagement between business and education. This informed co-design of the curriculum and recruitment of tutors from industry
  • Representing the construction sector at the first East Sussex Apprenticeship Graduation ceremony in 2019.
  • Supporting the Primary and Secondary Careers Hubs through the Enterprise Adviser Network, Industry Champions and Open Doors workplace visit programme. Read more about the Careers Hub

Task group update Spring 2022

Areas of focus from 2020-21 were

  • Continued promotion of the sector to young people through the Careers Hub.
  • Ensuring the relevance of further and higher education curriculum for Construction.
  • Helping employers overcome barriers to recruiting employees or apprentices.
  • Supporting employment and skills through Social Value in Construction contracts procured by Local Authorities

An example is the Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) ‘Building Lives’ run by Willmott Dixon. It ran from 16 November to 11 December 2020 and took a cohort of 10 due to social distancing restrictions.

Forty-eight referrals came through Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Nine out of ten completed the SWAP.  Participants gained a Level 1 Carpentry qualification, Level 1 Health and Safety qualification, employability skills training and a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. At the end of the 4-week course, all participants had an interview with Willmott Dixon and Falcon Green. Three individuals started jobs, and 4 others were still in touch with the recruitment agency. 

The task group will build upon these foundations, and that work continues. 

Priority tasks for 2022-23 are

  • Establishing a risk register of Green Skills availability in support of moves to Net Zero
  • Supporting a campaign to support the tutor bursary to help get more people with recent industry experience into the classroom
  • Supporting the creation of an employer designed event focussed on continuing professional development (CPD)

Construction Task Group meetings

Please find below the minutes of the latest task group meetings.

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