CITB-ConstructionSkills survey shows 18% planning further cuts this year

More than a quarter of UK construction firms reduced training activity in 2010, according to a CITB-ConstructionSkills survey.

The poll of 1,500 construction employers found 26% of firms had cut back training last year, with 18% of firms planning to scale back provisions further in 2011.

Job-specific training was hardest hit, with 16% of all employers cutting back.

Health and safety was also disproportionately affected, with 8% of employers reducing support in this area.

Despite the cutbacks, the survey found 24% of firms believe improving staff skills is more important as the industry exits the recession.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “As a cost-cutting measure in times of economic hardship, training budgets are sadly often the first to suffer.

“Although recognition of the importance of staff skills is high, the research shows that training levels could fall further still.”