FMB warns government of growing skills crisis

As the government unveils its ambitious plans to increase home ownership, the Federation of Master Builders has hit back with its concerns over a lack of skilled workers, an opinion shared by Development Specialist Richard Carr.

Economic growth at risk

Richard Carr bemoans lack of skilled workers

Workers wanted

Prime Minister David Cameron boldly stated last week that he wants his legacy to be defined by increasing home ownership in the UK.

His ambitious plans to see Britain building 200,000 homes per year by 2020 are at serious risk due to a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry.

Concerns over the growing skills crisis have rumbled since the start of the year with Richard Carr first talking out the problem back in January, 2015.

Ample workers needed

The FMB’s latest survey which focused on the third quarter of 2015 highlighted the ticking skills time bomb which is likely to explode very soon if employment isn’t upped. 60% of small construction firms surveyed struggled to hire bricklayers, which is up a staggering 49% on three months ago.

The problem also continued for firms when trying to hire carpenters and joiners, with 54% struggling to hire the appropriate workers which was up 47% on the previous quarter.

“If the skilled labour isn’t available, the Government’s ambitions for home ownership won’t be realised, said Brian Berry, FMB chief executive.

“It’s not just house building and home ownership that are being hampered by the skills shortage. The future economic growth of our country relies on major infrastructure projects, such as HS2 and Hinkley Point, being built.

“We urgently need to boost our workforce by convincing people, in their thousands, to return to our industry or join us for the first time. Key to this is the need to address the severe shortfall in apprenticeships.”

Process starts in schools

Richard Carr believes that the root of the problems remain in education. He believes that teenagers are pushed more towards careers through higher education rather than skilled work such as carpentry.

He feels some schools make careers in such areas look unattractive to teenagers. Richard believes that the government should focus on encouraging schools and teenagers to consider taking up apprentices otherwise David Cameron’s hopes of creating a home building legacy will be dashed.