Eastleigh MP, Mims Davies, has helped to highlight the increasing need for more skilled workers in today’s construction industry with a visit to a specialist training centre within Eastleigh College, Hampshire

The Gas Assessment Centre at the college – also a satellite training centre for boiler manufacturer Baxi – offers significant training for students of all levels looking to become fully qualified gas safe registered engineers, who play a key part in the construction of housing.

Just two weeks ago, the government announced plans to directly commission thousands of new affordable homes on public property. However with recent reports suggesting a skills shortage across the construction and housebuilding sector, doubts have been raised as to whether these plans can be met.

Ms Davies said: “There is a real need at the moment to attract more people into all areas of construction if the industry is to meet current government housebuilding targets. As such, access to good training centres such as the Gas Assessment Centre here at Eastleigh College will be crucial to ensuring we can provide people with the skills to work in those areas.”

Recent research undertaken by City & Guilds revealed that only five percent of teenagers show interest in jobs in the construction industry, where there is currently a demand for skilled workers. Meanwhile, twice as many teenagers are choosing to pursue careers in education than there are jobs actually available in the industry.

Jan Edrich, chief executive and principal at the college said: “Having a specialised training centre within the college is a very valuable asset. The industry is in need of more skilled workers and we are proud to be able to provide access to the necessary training for those in and around Eastleigh who wish to work and improve their skills in this particular sector.”