The government has unveiled new plans designed to counter skills shortages in a key area of the economy by bringing the Construction Industry and higher education closer together.
Minister for Lifelong Learning Malcolm Wicks announcd that a Task Group formed from senior members of the Construction Industry Training Board, the Department of Environment Transport and the Regions and the Department for Education and Employment would work together to establish stronger links between industry and the higher education sector to make sure that courses of study are relevant to the needs of those working in the industry.
Speaking at the Construction Industry Training Board ‘Making Connections’ workshop, Mr Wicks placed a particular emphasis on the role of the new foundation degrees in helping to equip those working in the construction industry with the necessary skills: "oundation degrees in particular are crucial to the new knowledge-driven economy. They are designed to provide the specialist technical knowledge, employability skills and broader understanding needed for industry."
So far, the University of Central England (UCE) has received funding to develop a prototype foundation degree in Property and Construction. Mr Wicks added that the Task Group would be looking to UCE as an example of how to fully develop relationships between higher education and industry to address the needs and requirements of industry itself.