CIOB survey finds most firms suffered recruitment and skills shortages in 2006

Almost 80% of construction firms suffered recruitment problems last year, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Building.

The survey of over 600 construction professionals revealed that 77% of respondents had problems recruiting during 2006. The CIOB also found 72% felt that the skills shortage would continue over the coming year.

Michael Brown, CIOB deputy chief executive, said: “A combination of small numbers leaving university and a buoyant global construction industry have both been factors in the skills shortages we now see.”

Recruitment problems were reported at all levels within the industry, but the most difficult sectors were in management and at craft or trade levels. The results suggested that although the number of migrant workers in the industry had increased during the year, these might not be plugging the skills gap in the areas where they are most needed.

Brown said: “It is relatively easy to import migrant workers at craft or supervisory levels locally, from Eastern Europe, but considerably more difficult to recruit senior managers.”