Having little work to win could jeapodise the future of a trained workforce

The dramatic fall in cavity wall installations in April 2013 (Cavity wall work plummets under Green Deal, 31 May, page 10) gives real cause for concern: with little work to win, a trained workforce could be lost to the industry if we do not act soon. As well as exacerbating the sector’s downturn in the coming months, it will mean a UK-wide skills gap in the longer term.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has worked closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and with industry to help ensure the construction sector - and small contractors in particular - have the skills to deliver the Green Deal. Losing qualified cavity wall installers will mean a costly and time-intensive need to re-skill the industry.

The Green Deal has just started to attract large scale landlords and the lag in work for small contractors is no surprise. But it is critical that incentives are put in place to ensure small contractors are winning and delivering cavity wall insulation work under the Green Deal.

Without action, there is little chance of a “quick fix” for the future cavity wall installation skills shortage that will be created.

Tony Howard, head of new business development, CITB