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News


SkillsPlanner offers new skills brokerage


A new data platform called SkillsPlanner that would link up further education colleges, employers, clients mandating training linked to construction contracts and local “skills brokerage” services could be on its way. A consortium put together by Ethos VO,


a collective of “social entrepreneurs”, last month put in a £1m bid for government funding via an Innovate UK programme. The team’s bid for the Solving Urban Challenges with Data funding call had already reached the shortlist, with a funding decision due at the end of April. Ethos has brought together the CITB, the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, around 10 “major construction employers”, six further education colleges and fi ve local authorities. SkillsPlanner will link up open data in a user-friendly platform that can be accessed by various organisations, explained Rebecca Lovelace, who runs Circle Three Consulting and is a member of Ethos. “It will integrate data on employers’ needs, for colleges on the skills they’re providing versus the skills employers need, and a be a user-friendly live platform. We’ve already had several local authorities saying ‘yes please, we need this’’,” she said. “There’s a mismatch between skills supply and skills need – but once you’ve got the data you’re better able to deal with the situation. We have this vision


Middle Ages spread


Hexham Abbey has undergone a £1.9 million refurbishment including the creation of a new visitors centre – with exhibition space, café and function rooms – and a glazed porch. Work on the abbey,


which dates its origins back almost 1300 years, was six years in the planning and took nine months. It involved extensive reordering of the grade I listed Tudor Carnaby building. Restoration specialist


William Anelay worked with project manager Turner & Townsend and architect Purcell.


of employers putting in their needs – because of their pipeline in a project – and colleges can access that to understand the future skills requirements in the area. She also anticipated that colleges using the online SkillsPlanner service might be able to collaborate on joint courses. “if we can collaboratively use data and make it live and accessible… then we can deliver interventions that don’t just work in isolation.”


“There’s a mismatch between skills supply and skills need – once you’ve got the data you’re better able to deal with it”


Lovelace said the idea for SkillsPlanner


originated through conversation with an Ethos colleague working on a project to harness data on population and spending patterns for a project to re-energise rundown high streets. “A bright spark realised we could apply similar principles to construction. At Ethos we see our role as creating a ‘collaborative consensus’ to bring all the right stakeholders to the table,” she said. CIrcle Three has recently been involved


in initiatives to create recruitment channels for service leavers to join the construction industry. Lovelace was previously a community development manager with Lend Lease, where she helped set up the Be Onsite construction training charity.


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www.bim.construction-manager.co.uk


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BIM+ begins hunt to fi nd the top 50 BIM tweeters


Construction Manager and BIM+ are launching a campaign to identify the most infl uential, interesting and informative BIM tweeters. Whether they are BIM managers, contractors, product manufacturers, architects or government offi cials, we aim to fi nd the top 50 Twitter users you should be following to be involved in the BIM conversation. BIM is a digital collaborative


tool used by people with a deep interest in technology, so it is no surprise that the people who have embraced BIM have also embraced social media. A strong online community already exists on Twitter with users keen to share knowledge and experience. Let us know where you get up-to-date information and insight from, and who the opinion formers are by nominating your


favourite BIM tweeters by tweeting @cmbimplus or using the hashtag #BIMtwitter50. Construction Manager will


compile a top 50 list based on the number of nominations received, along with the BIM+ team’s own suggestions, Klout scores and consultation from construction social media expert Paul Wilkinson. Nominations will close on


3 April and the results will be announced on the BIM+website and the May edition of Construction Manager .


CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | APRIL 2015 | 5


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