Widespread public sector budget cuts and restructuring have left local authority building control, just like many other public services, suffering a skills drain as costlier, more experienced workers retire early or are laid off. The situation is worsened by an impending ‘demographic time bomb’ - many local authority building surveyors will retire in the next five years.
As a result, attracting fresh talent to the industry is increasingly important - especially as the building industry comes out of recession while demand continues to grow - and LABC is helping out through a robust training programme, which features a trainee bursary scheme.
Exclusively targeted at new entrants to building control, the scheme was started to provide leadership, practical help and financial support to local authorities looking to bridge the skills gap by creating technical trainees in surveying within their building control teams.
LABC director of training Anna Thompson underlines the importance of the LABC Bursary scheme, particularly in the current economic climate, saying: “We are all aware of the need for sufficiently qualified and experienced staff to meet future demands.”
“An ageing workforce, competition for a declining pool of qualified and experienced staff and a lack of dedicated building control courses make it necessary for local authorities to plan for the future and we hope the bursary scheme goes some way towards addressing this.”
Last November the trainee scheme hosted its inaugural boot camp, which was staged to address a shortage of college courses specifically relevant to building control trainees.
Marti Voce, a trainee building control surveyor who has benefitted from the bursary scheme, was one of the event’s attendees. She said: “The LABC Bursary scheme has provided me with a great opportunity in the first steps of my career. Being able to network with other trainees at boot camp and get great support from all at LABC is extremely beneficial.”
Following the successful pilot in 2013, LABC is adding more to this scheme and is asking for applications now for 2014. You can register your interest for a bursary for a new trainee post by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.