Construction companies must invest in skills and technology or risk losing work to overseas completitors, an industry expert has warned.
KPMG head of infrastructure, building and construction Richard Threlfall said the growing pipeline of UK work would be won by foreign firms if businesses failed to make a long-term investment in their workforce and technology.
“The choices for the contractors are to either invest and reap the benefit over the next few decades, or find that the Chinese, the Indians or any other more successful company iwth a global outlook will take that business.”
Sweet Group chief executive Douglas McCornick told Construction News the “critical driving factor in the industry” was who has the workforce capacity to deliver projects. “I think our skills shortage as a nation is something that severely prejudices us.” he said. “We need to think about investing seriously, otherwise those [countries] which have no shortage of manpower and no shortage of skills will take our place.”
The construction industry attracted fewer than 20,000 first-year trainees in 2013, according to CITB – just 5 per cent of the one million forecast by the training body to be required in order to meet demand.
The National Specialist Contractors Council recently said that the shortage in skilled labour had reached a 14-year high.
Source of article – 26 June 2015, Construction News