Almost half of builders are reporting difficulties with recruitment, according to a report by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The research found that Scotland is particularly badly affected with 84% of builders reporting difficulty in finding labour, followed by the North-East at 67% and the Eastern region at 63%.
It found that Northern Ireland is the best place to find construction labour, with only 20% of builders reporting difficulty. Of all the trades, carpenters and joiners are the most difficult to recruit and hire.
Brian Berry, director of external affairs at the FMB, says: “The ongoing problem about finding enough skilled workers in the construction sector reflects the strength of the construction market. Small construction firms are reporting an increase in activity, which merely exacerbates the already growing demand for skilled construction labour. It’s worrying that the government is still failing to meet its own targets to train more apprentices in the construction sector.
“We need a sea change in attitudes towards training young people to learn new trades. Vocational training needs to be given the weighting and value as those wanting an academic education. Until this happens Britain will continue to suffer an ongoing skills shortage which is affecting the overall performance of the economy, not least the impact this will have on getting the Olympics completed on time by 2012.”
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