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More skills required for Welsh construction surge; Simon Gaskell Reporter

ASTUDY by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has shown that 20% of Welsh construction firms are struggling to grow their business because of a lack of suitably skilled workers.

It added because of the skills shortfall, 10% of firms had resorted to recruiting outside the sector to meet their "skills needs".

The picture across the UK showed more than two-fifths (42%) of firms are struggling to recruit workers with the right skills.

That is said to be putting an estimated 62,000 jobs at risk as companies face difficulties expanding without a skilled workforce.

The problem means 5,266 jobs are potentially at risk in Wales.

In response to the findings, CITB has launched a Construction-4Growth (C4G) campaign in Wales, calling for employers to invest in skills training which meets the emerging needs of the industry.

The campaign will build on the partnership work that CITB Wales and the Welsh Government are already undertaking with successful projects such as the Skills Academies, Client-Based Approach and the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme as well as galvanising support from employers, clients, Careers Wales and FE Colleges.

It follows a recent review by education watchdog Estyn and aims to ensure training is aligned to labour market needs.

Speaking outside Cardiff University's Cardiff Business School where the C4G campaign was officially launched alongside Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, CITB Wales director Wyn Prichard said: "Our report clearly shows that more needs to be done to address the issue of skills in the construction industry to ensure we have the capability to meet the emerging pipeline of infrastructure work in Wales.

"With PS1.3bn of infrastructure projects announced in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan, and a budget announcement concerning the creation of 11,000 new construction jobs in the next three years, we need to ensure the Welsh construction industry has the skills to meet the skilled labour demands of these projects."

Mr Prichard said it was important to "spark the imaginations" of young people, harnessing their talent for the future of the industry.

"This is one of the reasons why we are launching C4G, as well as to ensure that there is continued investment in green projects and training opportunities for local people and businesses in the sector; creating the right conditions and environment for skills to thrive," he said.

"We welcome the achievements that Welsh Government has made to date with the devolution of borrowing powers and stamp duty, as well as the procurement reform.

"We plan to continue to work in partnership with the Welsh Government and construction businesses to ensure that we provide them with the support they need for growth now and in the future."

Jane Hutt, Finance Minister, added the campaign was vital to large-scale building projects and the future of the Welsh economy She said: "Significant progress is being made within the sector, and we will continue to work in partnership with CITB and construction businesses in Wales to provide them with the support they need so they are in the best position possible for future economic growth."

Jon James, regional director of ISG, the contractor responsible for building the new Cardiff Business School, said: "It is absolutely vital to the health and future prosperity of the construction sector that we collectively take a responsibility to attract and retain talented and motivated individuals within the industry."

Half of employers surveyed in Wales felt that more needs to be done to better communicate the benefits of working in the construction industry and more than a third (36%) said more careers advice was needed to inform young people of the opportunities available to them in the sector.

For more information about the C4G campaign or for more on the work of CITB Wales, you can visit


Welsh construction firms are struggling to find suitably skiled workers
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 19, 2013
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