Costain Group targets schools to fill skills gap

Costain
Group is marketing jobs in construction to schoolchildren to help fill skills
shortages.

The
construction firm is committing at least £30,000 over two years to nine
secondary schools to attract children to the firm.

HR
manager for recruitment and retention at Costain Group Jeremy Galpin hopes the
marketing drive will help the company fill 400 qualified positions and 160
graduate vacancies that will arise in the next four years.

Costain
plans to allow students to work for the company during their university gap
year, and will sponsor up to 50 undergraduates on related courses, at a cost of
£2,000 a year.

Students
will work on projects including the Hungerford Bridge, M62 and the Channel
Tunnel Rail Link.

Chronic
skills shortages are threatening to cripple one of the UK’s largest industries,
which is worth £56bn a year.

Galpin
said the scheme will help the company fill skills shortages in engineering,
construction management and quantity surveying.

"This
scheme is central to the company’s long-term recruitment strategy and the
growth of the company," he said.

"The
number of graduates entering the industry over the past four years has dropped
alarmingly. With the industry changing, we need staff in HR and business
development as well as traditional construction skills."

Galpin
said the initiatives – including work experience, shadowing and mentoring –
will help the company double its turnover to £1bn in four years.

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