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CIOB: Skills shortage set to worsen

The lack of apprenticeships plaguing the industry will have a long term impact on skills shortages, which will continue to worsen as the demand for construction work increases.

These are the main findings of the Chartered Institute of Building’s latest skills survey which reveals that, despite the credit crunch, more than one third of construction managers and directors believe there will be an increase in construction demand in 2008.

And in what is becoming an increasing problem for the sector, 90 per cent of the 1,200 respondents also said the industry was suffering a dire skills shortage – especially at management level.

It found 83 per cent of respondents felt recruiting senior management was difficult and 84 per cent thought the same about the recruitment of middle management.

The findings represented an increase of 7 per cent and 9 per cent respectively compared to results from two years prior.

CIOB deputy chief executive Michael Brown said: "The shortage of professionals and managers within the industry is reflected in many parts of the world. Areas such as the Middle East will be a continuing draw for UK talent exacerbating the situation in the UK."

He said the demand from young people for apprenticeships was also outstripping the number of training places available in the industry.

In 2007 ConstructionSkills was only able to place 8,500 people into apprenticeships out of the 50,000 who applied.

Mr Brown said: "This lack of apprenticeships will have a long-term impact on the skills base of the future."