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Construction skills shortfall

Posted: Wednesday 8th, January 2014

Construction skills shortfall puts 62,000 jobs on the line

5 January 2014

A lack of young talent coming into the construction industry is threatening more
than 62,000 jobs, according to new research released by the Construction Industry
Training Board (CITB).

Their study shows that over two fifths (42%) of construction firms are struggling to
recruit workers with the right skills and that this is having a serious impact on
businesses up and down the country – with some even saying it could put them
out of business.

Nearly one in five (18%) employers said that a skills gap has hampered their
growth over the last two years, while over a tenth has lost out on work due to their
competitors having a more skilled workforce. Staggeringly, one in 20 businesses
claim that a lack of readily available talent is putting them at risk of going under.

In response to these findings, CITB has teamed up with iconic construction
machinery firm JCB to launch the Construction4Growth Skills Drive across
England and Wales, to encourage a new generation of talented youngsters to
explore career options in the sector.

The urgent need for new talent is further highlighted by ONS figures which show
that 19% of construction workers – over 400,000 people – are due to retire in the
next decade.

Discussing the research, James Wates, Chairman of CITB, said: “Our report clearly
shows that more needs to be done to address construction’s skills ‘time bomb’, to
safeguard jobs and ensure that growth is possible.

"With major projects such as the new nuclear build programme coming online in
the next five years, now is the time to start sparking the imagination of young
people and harnessing their talent for the future of the industry – any delay now
could be putting the industry’s growth on hold.

“It is for this very reason that CITB will be hitting the roads this week, visiting
schools and skills academies across England and Wales with its
Construction4Growth Skills Drive, to support the industry in recruiting more young
people.

"We need to show that construction is a high-tech, world class industry with
outstanding career prospects.”

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