With one million new construction workers needed by 2020 to meet Government house building targets, Walsall College is urging school leavers or adults looking for a career change to consider enrolling on construction courses which can lead to rewarding jobs in an industry where these skills are in high demand.

300,000 new homes need to be built across the UK every year to meet demand but with only 20,000 trainees entering the industry each year, together with a high rate of retirement, the industry is falling incredibly short of this target with current output at only 140,000.*

Key trades that are in short supply are bricklayers, plasterers, carpenters and painters and decorators.

Barry Hill, Curriculum Manager for Construction at Walsall College said: “The British construction sector took a big hit during the recession but now a few years on, it is again at the forefront of the UK economy. However a major shortage of skills is seriously blocking the industry’s continued growth.

“Construction companies we work closely with are advising us that they urgently need good, reliable and skilled trainees to keep pace with the demand for housing.

“To support the industry, learning providers also have a responsibility to ensure the courses they offer meet the needs of the employers, and that they are preparing students for real jobs and successful careers in a growing and important sector.

“At Walsall College our courses are developed with significant input from employers to ensure students graduate with the skills and knowledge to give them a head start in the workplace.

“There is a very strong culture of success and progression on our construction programmes as staff have a real passion for the industry, with a wealth of trade experience behind them, and students develop their trade skills, learnt in our state of the art workshop, by putting them into practice working on real life industry projects.”

Courses on offer at Walsall College range from part-time evening classes to full time and apprenticeship courses, from level 1 to level 3.