Scotland’s construction boom ‘is facing a skills shortage’
A Boom in the Scottish construction industry is being threatened by a major skills shortage, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) Scotland warned yesterday.
Despite the fact that small construction firms in Scotland are reporting an eight-year high, they fear they will be unable to cope with the surge in work if they cannot employ the right people for the job.
The FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey, conducted on a sample of 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprise member firms and seeking responses relating to the period between April and June 2015, recorded a rise in workloads of 3 percentage points compared to the first quarter, up to 42 per cent from 39 per cent.
Gordon Nelson, FMB Scotland director, said: “Following the longest and deepest economic downturn in living memory, it’s very encouraging to learn that construction workloads are increasing and that small firms in Scotland have real confidence that this will continue.
“The results for the second quarter of this year mark the highest for eight years and it feels as though our industry is finally turning a corner.
“While such positive news is both welcome and long overdue, small construction firms are worried that the skills shortage impacting on the construction industry will mean they cannot cope with the increased workloads they are expecting.
“Additionally, there is the real danger that if professional builders, like the ones we represent, are unable to meet the demand for new work, rogue traders may swoop in and hoover up these opportunities.
“This places consumers at risk of poor workmanship and the resulting additional costs and delays in finding a professional builder to rectify and complete the work.
“It’s welcome news that the number of people on modern apprenticeships in Scotland has increased by almost 60 per cent since 2007.
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