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Construction skills shortage ‘largest threat to sector’

Published on 6th April 2016

A shortage of skilled trades is the “largest threat to construction activity” and the successful delivery of projects, the Construction Products Association (CPA) has warned.

The Association’s latest Construction Trade Survey painted a largely positive picture, with activity in the sector rising for the 11th consecutive quarter in the final three months of 2015 and many companies reporting increases in enquiries for the coming months.

However, it also concluded that difficulties finding experienced workers to fill construction jobs would cause delays to projects and push up costs.

Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the CPA, explained: “A shortage of skilled on-site labour remains the largest threat to construction activity over the coming months.

“Half of main contractors found it difficult to recruit bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers in Q4, which continues to exert upward pressure on wage bills and raises the concern of whether expected volumes of work can be delivered.”

Those worries were shared by Suzannah Nichol, Chief Executive of Build UK, who said more had to be done to attract people to the industry.

“Difficulties in recruiting the right skills are causing very real concerns as labour costs rise,” she warned.

“With an expectation of rising workloads over the coming 12 months Build UK will focus on inspiring young people and those looking for a change of career to choose construction whilst motivating the workforce to stay within the industry.”

Kalcrest Site Services have worked exclusively in construction recruitment for more than a decade, so have the advantage of an extensive database of qualified and experienced workers. This allows us to help ease the difficulties our clients face in finding the right skills for projects by supplying reference-checked site workers for short or long-term assignments.

For full details of our recruitment services or to speak to one of our team about staffing for a current or forthcoming project, please call us on 01709 720348 or contact us via

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