Vital apprentices

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The latest Construction Skills Network report provides stark analysis of the impact of the economic downturn on jobs, skills and capacity within the UK building industry. UK construction employment is at its lowest level since 2000 and our own estimates suggest the Scottish industry has shed around 50,000 jobs over the past five years alone.

Most alarmingly, the new report predicts continuing job losses from the industry over the next four years. If unchecked, the ongoing loss of skilled workers will create huge problems when the economy begins to recover as we simply will not have the capacity to meet demand.

To avoid chronic price inflation as a consequence, ministers need to intervene to stem this predicted job decline by establishing a clear target to increase the number of apprentices recruited into the industry, by providing funding and other support to help building firms take on apprentices, and by prioritising investment in the pipeline of new projects needed right now to stimulate recruitment.

Michael Levack

Scottish Building