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Sir John Armitt, former chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and Peter Hansford, the government’s chief construction adviser, are among the key speakers at a new CIOB conference that will debate the best approach to tackle the industry’s chronic skills shortage.

Inspiring the Future of Construction takes place on Monday, 24 November at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London, and will focus on the skills challenge faced by industry and the reasons why employers need to be at the heart of any solution. It will feature an innovative “pledge wall”, where participants will make public the steps they plan to take to boost recruitment.

The interactive event is aimed at board-level professionals, aspiring future leaders or those committed to attracting talent, and will feature case studies of best practice on how to nurture the next generation of construction professionals.

The speakers include government representatives, industry heavyweights and innovative thinkers. Those confirmed so far include cross-bench peer Lord Richard Best OBE, president of the Local Government Association who worked with the CIOB on the No More Lost Generations report; CIOB president Ghassan Aouad; and Alison Watson, founding director of Class of Your Own (COYO), the innovative social enterprise that is embedding the built environment Design, Engineer, Construct! curriculum in schools. COYO is also planning an over-16s free school in Manchester.

The CIOB’s Novus organisation of younger industry professionals will also feature at the event, both in the main conference programme and in break-out sessions on how young members can engage with schools, universities and students.
The discussion programme includes a session on what the Construction Leadership Council is doing to engage with employers and young professionals. It will also examine why education professionals, training providers and employers must work together to create more and better jobs in construction and delegates will learn what employers are doing to reach the next generation.

A session later in the day will look at how construction investment can be used to generate more training and jobs for young people, and the types of initiatives that are successfully switching on the next generation to a career in construction. This will be followed by a panel session that will ask: “How do we ensure the industry is providing more and better jobs to young people?”

The conference will provide opportunities for networking and engagement with the CIOB, the government, education providers, young professionals, employers and clients.

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