FMB issues stark warning on skills shortage

RISING activity in the SME construction sector threatens to be undermined by the ongoing skills shortage, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned.

Commenting on the results of the latest FMB State of Trade Survey, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said, “There can be no doubt that the building industry is booming but the skills shortage continues to loom large over our industry. Almost half of construction SMEs are struggling to recruit adequate numbers of bricklayers, with others finding it increasingly hard to hire carpenters and joiners, site managers and supervisors.

“Looking ahead, our members are reporting that their workloads are likely to rise over the coming three months which means the shortage of skilled workers will only become more acute. It also begs the question, how much stronger would the pace of growth in the UK construction industry be if we had an ample supply of skilled tradespeople?

“Given that two-thirds of all construction apprentices are trained by micro firms, it’s vital that we have a system in place that drives high levels of apprenticeship training through companies of every size.”