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On Friday 24 July, the EDA’s CEO, Margaret Fitzsimons, along with 140 stakeholders from across the UK’s construction sector, attended the launch of the Talent Retention Scheme (TRS), a new free-to-use online jobs portal designed to stop an exodus of employees with valuable skills and expertise and to help companies recruit the talent needed to embark on new projects. The Scheme is a pragmatic response to support a sector already reeling from the impact of the pandemic: UK construction faces a 25% decline in activity this year putting over 500,000 jobs at risk.
Employers looking for skilled employees can advertise vacancies and job seekers (including apprentices) can upload their CVs and keep abreast of opportunities. Led by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), the Talent Retention Scheme is backed by a £1 million investment from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and is expected to save employers £100 million in recruitment fees over the next 12 months. In the run up to the launch over 430 companies had pre-registered 170 job vacancies at www.trs-system.co.uk/construction
The webinar launch was hosted by Andy Gardner, Co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), who introduced his Co-chair the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP. The Secretary of State reiterated the Government’s commitment to ‘Build Build Build’ supporting Britain’s hugely important construction sector - often seen as a bell-weather for the economy - with £640 billion of investment over the next five years.
The concept of an industry sector portal is not new. The first successful initiative came from a local Rolls Royce scheme that was so successful that it was rolled out nationally and is now in use in the aerospace and defence sectors.
Scheme early adopters included Kyla Farmer, HR Director at engineering and construction specialists, Keltbray Group, who will use the portal in four ways:
- to post vacancies and recruit talented individuals;
- to support individuals facing redundancy through signposting to the portal;
- to raise awareness of Keltbray Group;
- to encourage collaboration on projects as the requirements for specialist resources ebb and flows.
Jennie Daly, Group Operations Director at Taylor Wimpey, praised the speed of response in getting the portal up and running, and described its collaborative and long-term benefits as “very valuable”. At launch Taylor Wimpey had over 20 vacancies listed on the portal.
The EDA welcomes this initiative and President, CEF’s Chris Ashworth, urged businesses to register their interest “Access to a recruitment tool of this nature is a great opportunity for all companies operating in the electro-technical supply chain and we applaud the work of the CLC in getting such a resource to market at such speed. I’d encourage EDA Members and Affiliates to use the portal to secure skilled and talented individuals for their business, and as part of their HR initiatives.”
The portal is also open to apprentices and John Henry, MD at EDA apprenticeship Plus said “Through no fault of their own, or their employers, young people may find their employment ended. For those in training this is doubly difficult as it ends their training as well as their employment. This portal will add invaluable benefit to these individuals.
“If a new role is found efficiently, they will be able suspend their apprenticeship whilst they and a potential new employer engage. Provided this represents a similar role their training and qualifications will not suffer, and this continuation will benefit both parties immensely. Apprenticeships are as flexible as the job roles they support, and I see this portal helping to matching both the job and the training very seamlessly.”