ENROLMENTS on construction degree and diploma courses fell by nearly 6 per cent last year.
Hardest hit were mechanical engineering courses which took on 9 per cent fewer students, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
The figures further highlight the huge task facing the industry in attracting people as the popularity in some vocational subjects continues to soar.
Hugh Try, chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board, said: 'The key thing is to change people's perceptions. We have to make an impact on these figures in the next two to three years. If they have not improved after this period I think it will be fair to say the industry initiatives have failed.'
He added that the CITB is conducting a survey into construction courses with the Construction Confederation and the Charted Institute of Building.
He said: 'We hope to produce a report this year looking into the subject matter covered in the courses and what people find attractive and why.'