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Social Research

Construction skills in mid Wales

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  • Release date: 10 March 2004
Research includes views of some 20 stakeholders and 12 providers, supplemented by a telephone survey of 100 employers from the mid Wales construction sector.

In March 2004 Miller Research (UK) Ltd was commissioned by ELWa, a former Assembly Sponsored Public Body (ASPB) whose functions are now part of the Department for Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills to investigate the skills needs of the construction sector in Mid Wales, after Ceredigion CCET identified construction as a potential growth area, especially in the context of the South Ceredigion Regeneration Plan.

Available data from ELWa was analysed to establish the basic profile of current provision in Mid Wales. Due to limitations with this information, additional data on provision was obtained from providers’ own sources.

Emerging conclusions were tested with a group of providers in a workshop setting, prior to final analysis and reporting.

Background to construction in mid Wales

Construction is a regional employment strength in Mid Wales, accounting for 8.7%of all employment, compared with a Wales average of 7.7%. Powys and Ceredigion experienced £77m of new orders during 2002, of which £32m was for housing. Public investment was boosted by regeneration works in South Ceredigion.  The sector in Mid Wales is characterised by a high proportion of small and microbusinesses, relying on multi-skilled staff and informal networks to complete projects. Many larger contracts are let to organisations from outside the region, which may then sub-contract a proportion of the work at a local level.

Employment is heavily biased towards males and full-time working. There are local strengths in building restoration and repair and the potential for expanding green building skills in Mid Wales has been identified  Industry forecasts predict an overall staff requirement of 180 new entrants per year up to 2007, of which almost half are required to cover retirements. The most significant demands are expected to be for wood trades, bricklayers, electricians, managers, painters, professionals and plumbers. At a Wales level, there are expected to be shortages of qualified entrants into wood trades, bricklaying and painting.

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