Public sector cuts could see thousands leave construction for good says CITB-ConstructionSkills

CITB-ConstructionSkills has warned government that the latest spending cuts could push the construction industry back into a recession amid fears that £6.8bn of public sector cuts could result in up to 68,000 job losses

The industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council has called on government and industry to “learn from the past” and take steps to prevent a long term skills shortage of construction workers.

Figures released in January forecast 38,000 job losses in 2010 but a new revision to these figures in light of severe cuts such as the scraping of the BSF programme, could put a further 68,000 jobs in construction at risk from 2011 through to 2015 according to CITB.

Judy Lowe, deputy chairman of ConstructionSkills, said:  “Obviously any Government seeking to balance the books has to look at the procurement of major public programmes.  Most people in the industry would agree, for example, that BSF has been slow, costly and Byzantine in its complexity. But these projections make for bleak reading, and frankly, they may only be the start. 

A statement from CITB added: “Experience of past recessions indicates that those leaving the industry now will be highly skilled workers who will choose not to return to the sector when the recovery comes.”

“The result could be chronic skills shortages in craft, technical and professional occupations which will impact on the industry’s ability to effectively contribute to the UK economy for years to come.”