HSE to investigate concerns over contractors' skills gap

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is planning a probe into contractors' concerns that investing in skills and apprentices is leading to them losing out on work.

The National Contractors Forum - set up in April as part of CABE Space's Skills to Grow strategy - has already begun investigating the extent of the skills gap.

Major firms including Glendale, John O'Conner and Continental Landscapes are on board, and now the HSE has pledged its support.

Speaking at a skills debate at IoG Saltex last week - which featured representatives from the contractors forum, Royal Parks, Lantra, Birmingham City Council and CABE Space - HSE principal inspector Alan Plom said it was a major issue.

"We will be looking at procurement in local authorities because the loss of deep skills has been a concern to us," explained Plom.

"There are very good contractors paying a lot for training, but they are being undercut. That is also happening in local authorities and that is a major concern. It is not us waving a big stick, but the benefits of skills and competence extend from the individuals to the environment."

Consultant Bob Ivison has been leading on developing the contractors forum and hopes it will extend to examine client-contractor relationships in the near future.

Royal Parks Guild chairman Mike Fitt told HW the concept of a contractors forum had been well-received. "Contractors are very keen," he explained. "We need to put aside the competition aspects and work out what is important to the industry. We are all promoting the same business and if we all work together it will do better."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Neville Stein advises how businesses can act now to protect themselves against higher plant import costs after the Brexit deadline.

Sargent's solutions: Why landscapers are better off keeping overall control of a project

Sargent's solutions: Why landscapers are better off keeping overall control of a project

Dividing up contracts can make it harder for landscapers to retain control of their projects, Alan Sargent warns.



Attractive ornamental pear trees are great for street planting as well as gardens, writes Miranda Kimberley.


The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs


Build your business with the latest public sector tenders covering landscape, arboriculture, grounds care, production and kit supplies. To receive the latest tenders weekly to your inbox sign up for our Tenders Tracker bulletin here.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive RANKING of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources