According to a report by SummitSkills, as many as 154,000 jobs within the building services industry could be at risk because of the recession.

The report by the sector skills body, Potential impact of the recession on the building services engineering sector in 2009, was based on sample of BSE consultants interviewed on the recent economic crisis and how it may affect the sector’s workload.

Key findings of the report:

• There are estimates that between 10.4% (in the social housing sector) and 55.75% (private housing) work may be postponed or cancelled as a result of the recession

• Anywhere between 67,000 and 154,000 jobs are at risk in the contracting industry should this predicted loss of work be realised

• Over the last five years consultant workforce numbers have increased – 66% had increased their practice size

• A similar percentage (64%) expect their workforce to expand further over five years to 2015. This is good news for the future recruitment of graduates

• The majority of consultants expect the current recession to last two years until the end of 2010

Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: “Rather than doom-mongering, our emphasis is on being realistic and providing the sector with an appreciation of where consultants feel that work may be cut back. By being aware of the potential consequences, we can start to prepare contingency measures to assist BSE employers.”

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK construction industry suffered over 45,000 redundancies in the three months to December 2008.