The Construction Industry Training Board is calling for extra resources to combat the training and recruitment crises in the industry.
The plea is made in a report published this week, aimed at regional development agencies, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Executive and education establishments. The report sets out ways that the CITB could work with these bodies.

The Construction Workforce Development Planning Brief is the first time the CITB has set out a strategy document aimed at potential partners.

The report follows the Construction Employment & Training Forecast 2001–2005, which predicted a need for 370 000 recruits over the next five years.

The CITB is looking for extra funds from the organisations for work in schools, to expand existing apprenticeship schemes and to create a improve workforce skills. This is a key policy of the Confederation of Construction Clients, which was launched last year. The report also urged the new Learning and Skills Councils, which take over higher and further education in April, to share classrooms, sixth form centres and further education centres with the CITB.

The board also promised to improve training for managerial and project management staff as part of a list of five training priorities.

One source at the CITB said: "It is recognising that unless we get those areas right we are never going to capitalise on industry resources." The other four priorities are: lifelong learning, increasing investment in training, shifting to a fully qualified workforce and recruiting and training new craftspeople.

The CITB also wants to work with the bodies on recruitment drives to encourage women and ethnic minorities into the sector.

A more detailed plan and budget proposals will be outlined in a follow-up report to be published by the CITB next month.