‘Major skills crisis’ fears

kpmgWith 20% more workers required to build the £96 billion worth of construction projects planned for 2014-17, the London and South East is said to be facing a ‘major skills crisis’ that could impact the wider economy as early as April 2015, when a total of over 600,000 workers will be needed on site to deliver major projects, according to a new report by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and KPMG.

The report, ‘Skills to build’, outlines the labour requirements to deliver construction projects in London and the South East between 2014 – 2017 and the gaps in training that must be filled to meet this demand.

The industry has experienced great difficulties in recruiting enough skilled workers, for both professional roles and manual trades, to keep pace with new work. According to the report, a 51% increase in training provision would be required to meet demand for skilled labour between 2014 and 2017 to plug a gap of nearly 15,000 people.

Unless the supply of construction labour is increased, house building targets will not be met and the delivery of large infrastructure projects will be jeopardised. With 255,000 workers needed on site to deliver the 2015 pipeline of housing and 400,000 of the workforce expected to retire in the next five-10 years, change to the industry has never been more pertinent.

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