Construction Task Group minutes: 22 February 2022

Meeting details

Date: Tuesday 22 February 2022

Time: 9am to 10.30am

Location: Microsoft Teams

See the list of Attendees and apologies for this meeting.


Action points from this meeting

Action 1

  • Description: Get in touch if interested in Co-Chairing the Group
  • Lead: SBu/SM 
  • Due by: End March 2022

Action 2

  • Description: Survey to go to the group and Terms of Reference to be reviewed
  • Lead: SBu
  • Due by: May 2022

Action 3

  • Description: Get in touch if interested in being involved in a Net Zero sub group
  • Lead: SBu/SM
  • Due by: End March 2022

Action 4

  • Description: If able to support various Careers Hub activities, please contact the Hub
  • Lead: MB
  • Due by: On-going. ASAP re Spring Open Doors. 

Welcome and minutes of last meeting 11 November 2021

SM welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially new members.  He sent condolences on behalf of the group to Baxall Construction following the unexpected death of Stephen Turner in November 2021. 

Action points from last meeting

Action 1

  • Description: CB asked for volunteers for a working group to develop the action plan – contact CB/SM
  • Lead: CB, SM
  • Due by/status: ASAP

Action 2

  • Description: Contact the Careers Hub re Spring Open Doors
  • Lead: MB
  • Due by/status: Before February

Action 3

  • Description: Contact the Careers Hub re becoming an enterprise adviser
  • Lead: MB
  • Due by/status: At any time

Action 4

  • Description: Contact the Careers Hub re using maths in employment
  • Lead: MB
  • Due by/status: Before February

Action 5

  • Description: SM requested update on the Moving on up Apprenticeship Programme at the next meeting
  • Lead: FP
  • Due by/status: Next meeting

The minutes from the last meeting on 11th November 2021 were approved.

Handover Process from CB to SBu

Handover Process from CB to SBu

CB provided an overview of the Skills East Sussex priorities that were presented in full at the last meeting.  She gave a recap of items the group has been focused on as reminder to build on these activities which have now become business as usual.

SBu is looking forward to the group moving forward. A survey will be sent out for the group to provide feedback on its direction and priorities.  The three proposed actions for 2022-23 (aligned to the academic year to July 2023) are:

  1. Support creation of an Employer Designed CPD (Continuing Professional Development) event
  2. Support a campaign to promote the tutor bursary
  3. Establish a risk register of Green Skills availability

The group also has a vacancy for a co-Chair.

 CB asked for comments. 

 SH advised he was happy to be involved in the CPD sub-group but not able to lead it.  SBu spoke of the availability of funds for industry specialists to tutor. DO highlighted the need for focussed CPD.  He stated that many in academia do have industry knowledge, the need is to be more familiar with what is current. He continued that not everyone with technical skills has the ability to teach and impart knowledge. VP mentioned the Education and Training Foundation has a suite of CPD opportunities and funding opportunities to look at industrial placements and teacher CPD.

Action 1

Anyone interested in Co-Chairing the group contact SBu/SM

Action 2

Task Group TOR to be reviewed and survey to go out - SBu

LMI Update

SBu gave a presentation on Labour Market Information for East Sussex including claimant count figures, trend of male and female claimants and top jobs hiring.  Confirmed that there are known skills shortages in Construction. He would be interested to see if salary inflation impacting the workplace comes out of the survey.  SM was finding a disconnect between the numbers of unemployed and numbers applying for jobs, applicants being much lower than pre-pandemic. This is true of all types of job including administration as well as trades. SH felt that the pandemic has allowed people to reconsider life priorities with a wish for more work-life balance. Many over 50s (a significant percentage of the industry) are reducing hours or retiring. PJ said entry level and people with 10 years plus experience are not so much an issue. It is the middle and reskilling. People see no reason to attend an in-person 2-week course (even with a guaranteed interview or job at the end of it) when they can train online.  MC raised the numbers of unemployed (high) and referrals (low) do not match up and getting referrals is a struggle.


MP suggested learners take courses at levels 1 and 2 but do not progress into the sector. AW raised that there seemed to be issues around colleges offering level 2 and 3 qualifications that are not industry recognised in being able to work. SM and SH said that this is not their experience of students coming to them.  GR advised that some students may not understand the difference between level 2 and 3 courses and NVQS (National Vocational Qualifications). This could be made clearer.

Net Zero Initiatives

SM opened discussion around the skills required going forward given the significant impact Net Zero will have on Construction.


GR advised that East Sussex College Group (ESCG) is starting to offer a wide range of courses (for example, ground source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting) on decarbonisation through the Sustainable Development Funding.  SM responded the difficulty if ESCG are the only provider offering courses, finding demand outstrips supply and ESCG cannot fill it. SH felt that smaller employers were not engaging with initiatives is more of a concern, despite his personal promotion of what is available to them, such as Transform apprenticeship support.  DO suggested micro-credentials (short, modular courses) could be a creative top-down approach for managers to learn and feed down.


SM said that upskilling staff already in post is what he expects most Net Zero training to be. He was unsure what Net Zero skills are currently being taught, solar PV (photovolataics) panel installation being one.  PJ said that they try to integrate training into the working day as cannot imagine subcontractors wish to do online learning after a long day’s work. But support with this and short sessions from experts would really help.

SBu asked about having a parallel communication strategy – little point in lots of training initiatives on Net Zero if the target audiences do not know about them.

SH suggested that the county council make use of the list of sub-contractors and discuss what support they can offer.  CB advised she would look into this and Transform offering to provide support.

Action 3

If interested in being involved in a Net Zero sub-group contact SBu/SM ahead of next Task Group meeting in May

Careers Hub Update

MB gave a summary of various activities across the Careers Hub at present. These initiatives support the Hub and provide an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their values and raise awareness in their sector.  MB advised that there are two new Enterprise Co-ordinators, Jack Scott (replacing Henni Still) and Matt Ryan (back-filling Ruth Francis who is currently Effective Transitions Fund (ETF) Project Manager) which leads us onto:

  • Steps for Success is a 2-year pilot funded by ETF looking at 105 persistently absent (attendance less than 90%) pupils who are at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment and Training). They are also on free school meals. The Hub are looking for employers who could offer work experience or a placement.
  • Open Doors continues to build on its success. Spring Open Doors will be held between April and June 2022. Please contact the Hub if able to offer a site for visits.
  • I-Can has a confirmed date of 30th June at the Towner, Eastbourne. Exact timings to be confirmed.
  • What Next Sussex does not have a confirmed date, but the virtual careers event is expected to take place in October/November 2022.
  • Maths and English workplace resources for schools have been well-received, particularly Maths – thanks to all who contributed.
  • Enterprise Advisor vacancies are open, the EA role is to support schools develop their careers and enterprise strategy.
  • The Industry Champion Network is still growing. The Hub thanks group members who are already involved and welcomes interest from others.

Action 4

If able to support various Careers Hub activities, please contact the Hub on email:  Enterprise coordinator

Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) Update

MA followed up the November 2021 meeting with a presentation update on LSIP. This covered where the consultation activities so far.

Key challenges identified that need to change:

  • Labour Market – gap between supply (aging workforce, reduced migration, skills needed not known, shift in culture and expectations), demand (high turnover, high number of vacancies, recruitment challenges at all levels) and workforce development (resource availability and clarity on what to train in)
  • Skills Provision – lack of funding for age 16+, lack of input from businesses as to what is taught, limited flexibility, lag between what is accredited and what is current
  • Sector Profile – stigma around practical qualifications or work seen as ‘dirty’, need for businesses to promote the range of opportunities on offer
  • Accessibility – high cost and limited public transport; costs and limited access of broadband and low levels of digital literacy (particularly in older workforce)
  • Skills Policy – inflexibility, lack of clarity so reluctance to invest in Net Zero

 Key priorities identified to address the challenges are:

  • Labour Market - to support employers to recruit, retain and retrain their workforce
  • Skills Provision – ensure that the skills provision on offer in Sussex matches the skills needs of local businesses
  • Sector Profile – build a profile and raise awareness of the key sectors to promote recruitment and retention
  • Accessibility – ensure training and employment is accessible for all
  • Skills Policy – Influence national and local policy change using an evidence-based approach

 MA stated that LSIP should not and could not be implemented by one single organisation or network. Various partners need to be included such as awarding bodies, education providers and their staff, DWP, Nesta, community organisations, careers support organisations, local enterprise partnerships with businesses and residents at the heart of what is done.

 The Future Skills Sussex Framework is being developed according to good improvement framework cycles. Labour Market Intelligence and sector ‘deep dives’ will provide insight into key areas to work and improve upon. This will support businesses to identify skills needs and educators to develop the curriculum. All can use the data to plan ahead. Work will be done at Sussex as place to work and to live.  In East Sussex, the Skills East Sussex Board and its Task and Working Groups is a model that the whole of Sussex can build upon.

AOB (any other business)

VP announced that two Apprenticeship Roadshows are arranged for late afternoon on 20th June 2022 in Hastings and 6th July 2022 in Eastbourne.  Contact VP for more information.

Next meeting

Date of next meeting:

Thursday 12 May 9:00am to 11:00am – location to be confirmed

Attendees and apologies


  • SM, Scott Monk, GM Monk Limited - Chair
  • CllrM, Councillor Murray, Lewes and Eastbourne District Council
  • AB, Adam Bennett, East Sussex Procurement Hub
  • AW, Andy Williams, AJS Training
  • CB, Caroline Bragg, ESCC, Employability and Skills Strategy Manager
  • DL, Deborah Lloyd, CXK (National Careers Service)
  • DO, David Oloke, University of Brighton, Head of Technical Education and Apprenticeship
  • GR, Gill Ramsey, East Sussex College Group, Business Team
  • GT, Geraldine Turton, University of Brighton, Apprenticeships Manager
  • IP, Ian Pickard, IDP Health and Safety Consultancy
  • JJ, Jayne Jeffrey, Optivo
  • JRe, Jenny Reed, DWP, Care Lead Employer Advisor
  • JS, Jack Scott, ESCC, Enterprise Coordinator
  • MA, Michele Augousti, Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Stakeholder Engagement/ Chair, Institute of Directors Sussex
  • MB, Matt Brill, ESCC, Enterprise Coordinator
  • MC, Martine Corbett, Willmott Dixon
  • MP, Marc Pope, CITB, Engagement Advisor for East Sussex
  • PJ, Paul Jennings, Morgan Sindall
  • RFr, Ruth Francis, ESCC, Effective Transitions Project Fund Manager
  • RG, Rachel Groves, Volker Fitzpatrick
  • SH, Steve Hayman, Cheesmur Building Contractors
  • ST, Sara Taylor, Eastbourne Borough and Lewes District Councils
  • VP, Vanessa Potter, Executive Director, SCTP


  • SG, Sue Gothard, Clerk Skills and Employment Strategy ESCC
  • DM, Donnalyn Morris, Project Officer Skills and Employment Strategy ESCC


  • CW, Clair Witz, Sussex Chamber of Commerce
  • DC, Dermot Clarke, DWP, Employment Advisor Eastbourne Job Centre
  • MD, Malcolm Clarke, Baxall Construction
  • NP, Noel Painting University of Brighton
  • SH, Susan Harrison, Austin Cradles