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Ian Williams’ NHMF Maintenance Conference ‘Skillexit’ presentations strike a chord and provoke much-needed debate

Posted: 1st February 2019

Earlier this month, representatives from Ian Williams presented at the National Housing Maintenance Forum 2019 Conference on the self-titled subject of ‘Skillexit’. During formal presentations and breakout sessions, the team posed the question of what happens when there are no skills left and underlined why it’s critical that apprenticeships and training need to be placed top of the housing maintenance sector agenda.

Executive Director, Mike Turner, one of three Ian Williams’ representatives who spoke at the conference said: “The maintenance and repair of the UK’s housing stock is completely dependent upon the employment of an efficient and sufficiently skilled workforce. The drain on this resource is escalating due to an aging workforce, reduction in apprenticeships and the threat of Brexit on our migrant workforce. Without intervention, costs will rise and quality will decline to levels not experienced before, making Skillexit a highly fitting term. The impact of Skillexit may see organisations withdraw from the sector as they are unable to fulfil the obligations placed upon them by their clients.

“Delegate feedback about our workshop which sought to identify how employers can address the skills’ challenge, provoked much debate and we’ll be presenting on the subject again later in the year. It’s a topic that we simply cannot ignore and one that needs to be debated at the nitty gritty, practical implication level rather than just theoretically.”

Sian Pearce, Training and Development Manager who also presented commented: “With Ian Williams’ commitment to direct delivery of our services, we are well placed to share best practice. Delegates said how much they valued the fact we were prepared to shared lessons we’ve learned, the challenges we’ve faced and the progress we’ve made, especially with our Academy which was recently Highly Commended in the prestigious CITB Large Apprentice Employer of the Year Award.”

Also sharing experiences was our Academy Officer Jo Down. As one of the team who looks after our 62 trade apprentices, 45 Trainee Surveyors, and 4 staff apprentices, Jo gave her own unique perspective on the issue and spoke passionately about how critical it is to get apprentices in place and offer sustainable training programmes to encourage long careers in the housing maintenance

To find out more about the work we undertake in social housing,  click here or for more on the Ian Williams Academy click here