SCOTLAND’S economic recovery is at risk of being derailed by a “damaging shortage” of bricklayers and other skilled workers, building industry bosses warn.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) highlighted what it said was a “skills time bomb” that is “in danger of exploding”, with 60 per cent of small construction firms struggling to hire bricklayers.
It said the bricklayer shortage facing building firms had risen sharply and was up from 49 per cent just three months ago. The FMB said there were similar difficulties in other trades, with 54 per cent of firms struggling to hire carpenters and joiners.
Gordon Nelson, director of FMB Scotland, said the Scottish and UK governments had to “train a new generation of workers” to tackle the skills shortage. He said: “The potential impact of these skills shortages should not be underestimated – we will struggle to build the homes and infrastructure projects we desperately need if there’s a shortfall of skilled tradespeople.”
Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “Our schools and colleges need support to promote opportunities in this sector and the Scottish Government has to work with the industry to ensure college places are available to meet demand.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Over the last four years we have delivered more than 100,000 new Modern Apprenticeships.”