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Skills development of employees at SMEs in the construction sector in the North of England

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Abstract

In order to achieve a successful development of the economy and society of a country a highly knowledgeable and skilled labour force is needed. Training and skills development are key to maintaining a healthy construction industry in the UK. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in construction to retain a competitive advantage invest on training and development of its employees. This research aims to investigate skills development in SMEs in the construction sector.
To achieve this aim, a series of semi-structured interviews with directors and/or senior managers of 89 SMEs, were conducted. These SMEs selected randomly from a database of SMEs in the construction industry in the North of England. The analysis revealed that there are a range of barriers that may hinder the efforts of many training initiatives offered by organisations and government departments to help SMEs to gain a competitive advantage. These include awareness, finance, access, geographical location and provision of training and other skills development opportunities.