Talent scheme to continue, says CLC

An online recruitment and retention platform for the construction industry is to remain in place, removing doubts over its future.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) announced today (17 April) that its Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) will continue to operate.

It said that a press release emailed to journalists the previous day, titled “Construction talent retention scheme to end after four years”, had been sent by mistake.

A CLC spokesperson said today (18 April): “Schemes like the TRS are rightly regularly reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate and sustainable solutions.

“The CLC is pleased to be able to confirm that the scheme will continue to operate; and apologises for issuing an incorrect statement.”

Funding for the TRS had been due to expire this month.

The not-for-profit scheme was officially launched in July 2020 with a £1.2m government grant.

It provides a tailored online portal on which jobseekers can register their personal profile and CV and search for vacancies.

Companies interested in recruiting candidates can contact them directly through the portal and also upload any job vacancies they wish to promote.

A total of 1,116 jobs and training courses are currently available, according to the TRS website, and 1,829 organisations use the scheme to post job opportunities. The website also offers employers bespoke assistance in restructuring and employee redeployment.

Construction News reported in February that the CLC was holding discussions about the future of the TRS and a sister scheme for entry-level construction roles called Talentview, which has been supported by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) since April last year.

Financing both programmes was “proving a challenge”, according to the minutes of a council meeting held last November, as the CLC had “no mechanism for funding”.

TRS is free to use although the government ended its funding last year. The CLC had been considering whether to ask large companies to fill the gap, while keeping the service free for SMEs.

CN approached the CLC for comment on whether the TRS now has such a mechanism in place given its latest announcement.

CITB boss Tim Balcon yesterday called for larger contractors to do more to tackle the construction industry’s skills, recruitment and retention crisis.

Addressing a parliamentary reception, he urged a “paradigm shift in thinking around construction skills” and emphasised the importance of retraining existing staff and increasing productivity.

Balcon added that the CITB was working on making it easier for firms to access support for training, admitting that “sometimes we make it over-bureaucratic”.

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