Skills shortages a threat to sector, says industry body

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CAREERS advice to young people is failing to support the growing need for apprentices in the region, with skills shortages remaining a threat to the construction sector, according to the Construction Industry Training Board.

Recent research from the CITB showed that 35 per cent of careers advisers believe that construction is an unattractive career opportunity.

More than 60 per cent of careers advisers in schools offer no information on jobs prospects based on available work, the report found, while it also suggested that three quarters of the schools visited by Ofsted are not fulfilling their legal duty to provide skills advice.

Steve Housden, the board’s sector strategy manager for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “This is depressing but illustrates how important it is for all of us involved in the construction industry to help ourselves.

“We can’t leave it to existing careers advice. We need to accept that we are in a beauty parade with other sectors- some of which are doing a better job of selling themselves.

“We are calling on employers to work with us to attract talent into our industry.”

The CITB’s recent report surveyed more than 800 ‘career influencers’ to find out their thoughts on construction.

Mr Housden said: “This is an important issue at the moment for an industry that is returning to growth and looks set to create 180,000 new jobs in the next five years and need around 120,000 construction apprentices.”

Data from the CITB’s 2013 Construction Skills Network report shows that in the Yorkshire and Humber region it is estimated that around 3,170 new construction recruits are required annually from 2014 to 2018.

To help achieve this, it is likely that the industry will need to recruit in the region of 2,500 apprentices every year for the next five years, said Mr Housden.

He said that public housing schemes such as the £1.5billion regeneration scheme between Bradford city centre and Shipley town centre will create jobs and growth in the region, while commercial developments such as the Westfield Broadway Centre, also in the centre of Bradford, will also boost the local jobs market.

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