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Home News, Contacts & Resources Latest News 2014 March ONLINE DEBATE TACKLES SKILLS SHORTAGE



The economy is recovering, but the critical issue of the shortage of skills is a key challenge for future and sustained growth in the construction industry; Saint-Gobain’s latest online debate will tackle this subject.

The debate will consider the motion: “A commitment to apprenticeship schemes is needed to tackle the critical issue of skills shortage in the UK construction industry.” Steve Horrocks, Technical Director at Stroma will propose the motion and Ian Roberts, Bursar at Royal Worcester Grammar School, will act as the opposing speaker. The views of the debate participants, as well as the thoughts of our guest speaker, Nick Gooderson, Head of Education and Research at CITB, will be available for scrutiny at

Richard Halderthay, Director of Communications for Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland & South Africa, said: “The economy is recovering, but the shortage of skills is a key challenge for the construction industry. 

“A CITB survey has suggested that firms are struggling to fill more than 62,000 jobs with a shortage of young talent entering the employment market.
“At Saint-Gobain we believe apprenticeship schemes could be vital in plugging the skills gaps within the industry, so I am curious to see how our speakers think the right skills mix could be best achieved.”

The traditional style debate will kick off with opening statements from the opponents on Monday 7th April The discussion will continue during the week, culminating on Friday 11th April when the victor will be announced. Visitors to the site will be encouraged to add their thoughts to the proceedings through a comments section, also having the option to cast their vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ the motion, based on which speaker has been most persuasive.

Saint-Gobain debates occur on a regular basis, providing an up-to-date and engaging insight into some of the key issues at the heart of industry and the built environment today. The debate series will cover everything on the sustainable construction agenda, from the UK’s carbon zero performance and housing stock, to issues concerning Passivhaus and renewable energy solutions, with a view to moving onto more broad socio-economic issues in the future.

For further information, please visit For up-to-the-minute news and updates, follow Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland on Twitter, at @SaintGobainUK, or search #SGdebate. Should you need any more information, please contact

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