Construction facing “High level skills crisis”

The construction skills crisis is already underway with contractors and employers saying they can no longer recruit higher skilled staff they need, with %73 reporting they are struggling to fill vacancies, according to a survey by the CBI.

The CBI has said that this kills shortage is “threatening to starve economic growth” with further comments from CBI deputy director-general Katja Hall who said  “Firms are facing a skills emergency now,”.

Construction recovery
Construction need more skills

In the Budget, the government announced a levy on large employers to fund new apprenticeships.

On the plans for a training levy Skills Minister Nick Boles commented:”By developing the skills of young people, businesses can boost their productivity, employees can harness their talent and we can reach our potential as world beaters,”


Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “The Government has set out its stall to create a high-skilled economy, but firms are facing a skills emergency now, threatening to starve economic growth.

“Worryingly, it’s those high-growth, high-value sectors with the most potential which are the ones under most pressure. That includes construction.”

“The new levy announced in the budget may guarantee funding for more apprenticeships, but it’s unlikely to equate to higher quality or deliver the skills that industry needs.

“Levies on training already exist in the construction sector where two-thirds of employers are already reporting skills shortages.

“Employers have a critical role in upskilling the workforce, but part of the deal must be for real business control of apprenticeships to meet their needs on the ground.”

Employers also raised concerns about the standard of teaching in schools, the survey also highlighted continuing fears among school leavers with a third of firms reporting problems with literacy/use of English (37%), basic numeracy (37%) and nearly half on communication skills (49%).

Hall commented further : “Employers consider attitudes and aptitudes more important than any specific qualification or skill, other than practical literacy and numeracy.

“They also want to see young people gaining a greater understanding of the world outside the school gates, by inspiring pupils about career opportunities from a much earlier age and by putting work experience back on the agenda for all young people.”

The CBI/ Pearson Education and Skills survey which is based on 310 firms employing 1.2 million people in the United Kingdom, showed that more than two-thirds of companies will be needing higher trained staff.