Apprenticeships won’t solve the construction skills shortage, Skills Group warn

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10th February 2016 11:20 - Construction

According to Plymouth-based, Skills Group, apprenticeships alone will not solve the skills shortage in the construction industry, with the situation not only affecting future growth prospects, but also the wider economy.Apprenticeships won’t solve the construction skills shortage, Skills Group warn

Managing Director of Skills Group, Mark Boulting, said that even though there have been improvements, it will time to train a productive and qualified workforce. With this in mind, Boulting said that the situation is likely to worsen before it gets better. He also added the problem should be tackled now and across the board in order to safeguard the United Kingdom’s economy, as well as young people’s futures.

The comments from Boulting came on the back of a market research survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which revealed that skills shortages were reported by 66 per cent of those working in the UK construction sector. The skills shortages were said to be the most prominent barrier to growth in the industry in the final quarter of 2015.

44 per cent of the construction workers in the South West of England said that they experienced difficulties in findings skilled workers.

Despite workloads increasing, the market research also discovered that the rate of increase had slowed down since 2014. Of the respondents in the South West, 24 per cent had seen an increase in work during the last quarter.

Boulting said of the research findings: "Skills shortages have moved from being merely a concern to an acute problem, with the predictable consequence of constraining growth in the sector and beyond to the wider economy.

"It is time we all recognised this skills shortage is already acute and will only get worse if we don't work together to address the problem. This means looking beyond self-interest and thinking about the economy and our children's future. Those of us who have committed have seen growth, but we can't do it on our own."

Sally Speed, RICS Talent Director, also said of the situation: "The construction skills crisis is slowing growth in a sector that is vital to UK plc. Unless Government looks to address the problem urgently, some of its key housing and infrastructure programmes could soon face crippling delays and spiralling costs.

"To tackle the problem, Government must deliver a new skills strategy that will enable industry, unions and educators to work together and deliver real solutions. Apprenticeships alone will not be enough. Ministers must look to draw a link between education, future careers and skills.”

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