Cable urged to act on construction skills shortage
'We have got to get the construction industry to take ownership of this problem'
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, has been called on to hold a crunch summit to address the acute skills crisis in the construction industry, which has lost 400,000 jobs during the recession.
A report by a cross-party group into youth unemployment and construction on Wednesday will argue that a high-level summit is the best way to encourage the industry to tackle its growing jobs shortage.
As the economy improves, construction needs 180,000 more workers to build planned bridges, roads, housing and vast infrastructure projects by 2018. However, government figures show that the industry started training only 13,700 apprentices in 2012-13 – down 39 per cent from 22,400 just two years earlier.
Nick Raynsford, a former Labour construction minister who is co-chair of the inquiry, told The Independent that a similar summit on the industry’s safety record in 2001 overhauled attitudes in what was until then a highly dangerous profession. He hopes Mr Cable and Sir David Higgins, chairman of High Speed Two, will host the summit alongside the industry veteran James Wates, who heads construction’s specialist skills body.
Mr Raynsford said: “We have got to get the construction industry to take ownership of this problem. The number of apprentices is completely inadequate and we’re hearing construction firms beginning to openly talk about recruiting internationally.”
The inquiry was launched last summer and has been backed by influential Westminster figures such as Baroness Susan Kramer, a former Liberal Democrat Mayor of London candidate.
Mr Raynsford’s co-chair is the crossbencher Lord Best, president of the Local Government Association, who led the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for nearly two decades to 2006.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...