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Building Information Management: Addressing the skills gap

A BRE Academy report launched at Ecobuild earlier in March has revealed that BIM and management skills, key to future development, are seen as lacking on a wider industry as well as an individual or organisational basis.

This comes at a crucial time, only weeks away from Government’s mandate deadline, when all centrally procured public sector projects will require the implementation of BIM at Level 2.

The report is a result of BRE Academy’s “Boardroom to Building Site” Skills Gap Survey, which aimed at providing a comprehensive picture of the UK’s true construction skills gap from senior leaders down to sub-contractors. This will help policymakers, businesses and academia establish an accurate understanding of what skills are needed so that a capable workforce can embrace and deliver transformational change.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan commented ‘Surveys like this one help us in designing effective policies. We remain committed to creating 3 million more apprenticeships in this Parliament many of which will be in the construction sector and we are particularly keen to increase the sector’s diversity and help encourage more women to participate.’

While BIM, Sustainability, and Smart Technology were seen as the key areas of future growth of the  industry in the next 3 and 10 years, these were also found as some of the weakest links of the construction landscape.

The survey participants suggested that the solution to the problem could be a stronger lead from professional bodies in promoting technical training and offering a wider range of memberships with reduced fees to accommodate a wider cross-section of the construction industry.

With the target date imminent, prominent BIM industry leaders will seek to find solutions and recommendations for training providers and the wider industry at a conference on 6-7 April. Run by BRE in partnership with BuildingSMART UK and sponsored by Viewpoint, the event will gather some of the best digital experts from the construction industry including Nick Tune (coBuilder UK), David Jellings (Solibri UK),  Jeremy Watson (BuildingSMART UK), Peter Trebilcock (Balfour Beatty) and many others.