Relevant training

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell wonders if young adults are receiving the right education.

Yesterday (September 29) prime minister Boris Johnson vowed to give more weight and gravitas to vocational courses, bringing them in line with academic-based courses, such as A-Levels for example.

The announcement was accompanied by a photo opportunity involving the prime minister and a trowel at Exeter College, hopefully underlining a) the importance the construction industry plays in the economy and b) the skills crisis across all sectors within it.

To be honest, this is all old news. I’m in my mid-40s and I’ve never thought the education system has been fully fit for purpose.

But that’s a different conversation. The issue that has become clear this week is that education should be a continually evolving beast. Training bricklayers is one thing, but looking ahead to future requirements is another.

Interestingly, Boris Johnson was at Exeter College, which is also where Cornwall Glass has helped prepare a course that will provide the most appropriate training for its desired employees. And, as far as I am aware, it works well.

If any government is serious about creating and maintaining an education that is truly fit for purpose, then it needs to engage with industry.

I think a perfect example of this is the recent paper published into modular construction, which says that factory-built homes will account for a quarter of all new homes by 2030, creating 50,000 jobs in the process.

I’m sure that many of those jobs are easily transferable from other sectors, but this is a perfect opportunity to get ahead of the curve. Businesses and government can work together to engage with students now so that they can have a real decision in their careers, rather than making it up as they go along.