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Skill shortage in construction ‘worse than experts can imagine’ – property maintenance boss on Mon 9th February, 2015

“The shortage of skilled tradesmen will eventually derail the upturn in the construction industry,” said Will Davies, MD of property maintenance and refurbishment company

Mr Davies – a long term campaigner for traditional skill based apprenticeships – was speaking in response to a warning from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which found that two in five of all vacancies surveying industry turned down new opportunities due to a lack of available experts.

According to a director of RICS, Alan Muse, “Without surveyors, things don’t get built. The next few years look like a real tipping point – construction as an industry looks to grow, but at this time it’s very unlikely that we’ll have the capacity or the capability to fulfill planned projects”.

Davies believes this crisis is damaging the property sector as a whole.

“All the building trades have been hit by the recession and the slowdown in housing market. As a result, 25% of plumbers and 19% of bricklayers left their trades over the preceding four years. We desperately need to train young people in those skills,” said Davies.

“Apprenticeships and on the job training schemes are the best way forward and the government is getting onside over skills training but everything is too slow,” said Mr Davies.

Experts have warned that the UK needs to build 78,500 affordable housing a year to kept pace with demand. But only a quarter of this amount were built. Some believe London alone would benefit from annual cash boost of £1.3billion to meet with their demands, according to the National Housing Federation.

Douglas McCormick, of UKCES was seen recently saying, “This shows that businesses need to start thinking about planning their talent pipeline now - not waiting until they are unable to fulfill contracts because of a lack of skilled staff".

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