Liverpool’s Agent Academy to address Mersey construction skills shortage

Offshoot of Liverpool creative and marketing agency Agent to work with construction firms on a three-month project in which a group of 12 young people will look for solutions to the skills shortfall

Construction firms are teaming up with Agent Academy CIC on the skills research project


A consortium of leading construction firms is to collaborate with the training offshoot of Liverpool creative and marketing agency Agent to find answers to the city region’s construction skills shortage.

Agent Academy CIC has established a track record over the past five years of equipping young people with the skills to launch their careers in the creative and digital sector. It has helped them secure jobs and earn a total of £2.5m in annual salaries.

Now the academy will team up with Morgan Sindall Construction, Curtins, Faithful+Gould, Ryder Architecture and Regenda Group to look in more detail at the reasons the construction sector is struggling to find enough people with the right skills.

Diverse backgrounds

During the three-month project a group of 12 young people will be challenged with finding solutions. They will learn from experts in both built environment and marketing, engage in research with other young people from diverse social backgrounds and use the insights they gain to come up with answers to their unique challenge.

Every Agent Academy programme is underpinned with a client challenge enabling the young people to put their learning into practice. During this programme, the participants will meet with more than 40 city leaders as well as hundreds of other young people to bring about their client recommendations. 

Recent CITB research shows that there is significant room for improvement regarding young people’s perception of the construction industry as a career option, with it scoring 4.2 out of 10 among 14 to 19 year olds.

The research showed that young people’s understanding of what a career in the construction industry entails is based on outdated stereotypes and differs greatly from the reality.

Construction, building
The construction sector is grappling with a shortage of skilled people


Career opportunities

Sue Patterson, senior business development manager at Morgan Sindall Construction in the North West, said: “We regularly visit local schools and run jobs fairs, and often find that many young people are completely unaware of the great variety of career opportunities available in the sector. As an industry, it’s our responsibility to demonstrate the wide variety of fulfilling roles that construction has to offer.

“In order to make construction more sustainable for the future and to boost employment opportunities in the communities in which we work, it’s critical that we demonstrate the great number of careers available to all young people and attract a more diverse workforce in to the sector. 

Zoe Wallace, director at Agent Academy, added: “Agent Academy has a track record tackling the talent challenge faced by the creative and digital industry by giving young people the opportunity to upskill and then kick-start their careers.

“We hope that this experience together with the insight from our students will give a fresh perspective to how the construction sector can tackle talent issues.”

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