Jobcentre staff in drive to fill Merseyside’s construction skills gap

DWP says there is significant demand for skilled people within the Liverpool city region construction industry and the aim was to upskill people to fill those roles. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Waters
Construction work is under way at residential schemes in Liverpool Waters. Picture by Tony McDonough


Jobcentre Plus staff in Merseyside are working with training providers in the Liverpool city region in a drive to fill the skills gap in the construction sector.

Clive Morris, spokesman for the Department for Work & Pensions in the region told LBN there is significant demand for skilled people within the local construction industry and the aim was to upskill those people who currently only possess “entry-level” employment skills.

And he confirmed Jobcentre staff would be liaising with City of Liverpool College and property giant Peel on the £500,000 Construction Hub training facility being planned at the £5bn Liverpool Waters project in the Northern Docklands.

A number of residential schemes are already under way at Liverpool Waters which will also be home to Everton FC’s proposed new £500m stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.

Growing sector

Mr Morris, who was speaking as new figures showed UK unemployment was at a 44-year low, said: “We are continuing to see demand in the city region for skills in the hospitality and construction sectors.

“In particular we are looking at the skills gap in construction which is a growing sector across Merseyside and so we are helping people who require training to be able to apply for those roles by working with a number of training providers.”

Mr Morris also said the Government’s new Stronger Towns Fund would see an extra £281m invested across the North West although specific locations that will receive money have yet to be disclosed.

Liverpool Waters
Construction work taking place at Liverpool Waters. Picture by Tony McDonough


Record employment

Latest Government figures released on Tuesday showed there were now a record 3.5m people in employment across the North West – up up 65,000 from a year ago and up 323,000 since 2010.

The unemployment level in the region is also at a record low of 131,000 – down 19,000 on the year with an unemployment rate of 3.6%. This has more than halved by 2010. The number of workless households has fallen since Q4 2010 by 161,000.

The UK’s record jobs market continued into 2019 with 473,000 more people in work in January compared to a year ago, while the UK’s employment rate reached an all-time high of 76.1%.

New figures also show that wages continued to outstrip inflation for 12 months in a row. Companies are driving the growth, with private sector employment up by 3.8m since 2010. The figures also revealed a higher rate of women in work than ever before.

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