FMB says 48% of members have difficulty recruiting labour, with carpenters and joiners being hardest to find

Nearly half of builders are finding it difficult to recruit workers, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has warned.

The industry trade association said 48% of its members had reported difficulty in finding labour in its latest survey.

Scottish builders were found to be the worst affected, with 84% reporting problems. In the North East, the number stood at 67% and in the Eastern region at 63%.

Northern Ireland emerged as the best place to find construction workers, with only 20% of builders reporting problems.

Carpenters and joiners were found to be the most difficult of the trades to recruit and hire.

Brian Berry, FMB director of external affairs, said it was “worrying” that the government was failing to meet its own targets to train more apprentices in the sector.

He said: “We need a sea change in attitudes towards training young people to learn new trades. Vocational training needs to be given the weighting and value as those wanting an academic education.

“Until this happens Britain will continue to suffer an on-going skills shortage which is affecting the overall performance of the economy, not least the impact this will have on getting the Olympics completed on time by 2012.”