It is exciting news that the newly formed UK Contractors Group will be making the skills shortage a priority (9 January, page 15)

Addressing the long-term future of the construction industry is imperative in preparation for a post-recession world.

However, it is vital that this is not simply left to major contractors. The supply chain needs to play its part and demonstrate a commitment to ensuring that the impact of a potential skills shortage can be minimised.

Suppliers can establish internal skills programmes now to broaden and enhance their capability. Although internal investment appears more difficult at present, companies with specialist, well-skilled, flexible workforces are also more likely to survive the economic downturn.

Mark Tomlin, managing director, SIG Specialist Construction Products