Skills shortages a major threat to construction industry growth

Trade exhibition the Build Show has warned that more must be done to support skills development within the construction industry.

Skills shortages a major threat to construction industry growth

The National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) has revealed that 19% of specialist firms have reported being unable to bid for work because of a lack of skilled staff. The figure, which was released as part of the NSCC’s second quarter State of Trade Survey, is a significant increase on the yearly average of 6%.

The Build Show’s own research found 44% of construction professionals pointed to skills shortages as the biggest challenge faced by their business currently. A lack of clarity about how young people can break into the construction industry was cited as the main issue, with 47% of respondents claiming clearer routes into the industry with formal training and qualifications are required.

A further 28% argued that more financial support for businesses to provide apprenticeships is needed, while just over 24% believed that a greater focus on hands-on training and work experience is the key.

Paul Godwin, managing director of the Build Show, said: “The message is really coming across loud and clear from all sides: as an industry, developing a well-trained and highly skilled workforce must be our biggest priority if we are to sustain the growth we all wish to see. It’s particularly relevant over the coming weeks as young people receive their exam results and start thinking about their future employment options.

“We’ll be placing a major focus on training and skills development at the Build Show, with support from our partners including the Construction Industry Training Board, Federation of Master Builders and National Federation of Builders. We know that there is a thirst for high level support and information about skills training, and we will seek to provide exactly that through a detailed and inclusive seminar programme.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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