Bridging Skills Gap Key for Growth

Published:  19 April, 2016

The skills gap that exists in the construction industry is hindering potential growth, according to NAPIT, which believes that dedicated training courses could be the solution.

Construction activity increased for the eleventh straight quarter over the last three months of 2015, but firms are still struggling to recruit the skilled tradespeople needed to meet demand, according to the Construction Products Association (CPA). This comes at a time when a report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows the skills shortage in the construction sector is also driving up wages and holding back work. Wages rose by 6% in 2015, compared to the 2% UK average, because there are not enough workers to meet demand.

A report from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which surveyed a range of businesses, showed construction companies are becoming increasingly worried about the lack of skills within the industry. The Skills & Demand in Industry Report 2015 found 64% of those surveyed said that a shortage of engineers in the UK is a threat to their business, while 66% are concerned that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change.

Michael Collinge, head of NAPIT Training, said: "The construction industry desperately needs an influx of skilled installers to meet increasing demand and dedicated training courses are available to achieve this. We feel that more must be done to ensure anyone interested in entering various trades within the construction industry is gaining the appropriate skills to do so. If this skills gap is allowed to grow, the future of the industry is not looking secure."