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Posted on October 25, 2018 by staff

Liverpool tech fears over skills crisis in construction

Liverpool’s thriving digital creative sector could be hit by the skills shortage in the region’s construction sector.

Liverpool City Region boasts the second fastest growing technology start-up clusters in the country with around 3,500 businesses, which has fuelled demand for office space.

However a shortage of construction workers could undermine future building projects, which has caused concern to Mark Lawler (pictured below), managing director, Baltic Creative CIC.

Baltic Creative CIC provides commercial space specifically designed for creative and digital industries and Lawler is speaking at BusinessCloud’s latest breakfast event in association with Progress to Excellence Group on November 15 entitled ‘LCR Construction Skills Summit’.

Baltic Creative CIC own and manage 120,000 sq ft of space and have ambitious plans to increase this figure significantly in the next five years.

“You only have to look at the numbers to see how important the digital sector is to the region,” he told BusinessCloud. “It’s a critical part of the region’s economy and the number of start-ups is at record levels.

“We want to produce a pipeline of creative and digital space over the next five years and if we don’t address the skills crisis in the construction sector my fear is developments could be delayed and costs could increase.”

A number of high profile tech buildings have been built across the region in recent years, including £15 million Sensor City, which is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.

Fellow speaker Sara Lawton is a director of Construction Impact Framework, which works with 62 organisations in the construction sector.

She said the recruitment crisis in construction was causing wage inflation and stifling the delivery of projects.

Lawton told BusinessCloud: “The lack of skills in the construction sector across Liverpool City Region is complex. A sustainable, long-term strategy is needed to engage young people to maximize future opportunities in the construction industry.

“The approach to this strategy needs to be collaboration between the construction industry, educational partners and those organisations who understand the needs of young people who are the hardest group to engage with.”

The event is being held a No 1 Mann Island, in Liverpool and other speakers include Asif Hamid MBE, CEO, The Contact Company; Sandra Kirkham, group MD, Progress to Excellence Group; Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Mark Basnett, MD, Liverpool City Region LEP; Tom Powell, MD, Complete Training Solutions; and John Moffat, development director, Capital&Centric.