Forty percent of construction firms surveyed in the North West have taken no action to address long-term skills gaps, according to Hays and the CITB.
Despite rising demand for skilled workers and new recruits, results from 118 North West firms showed that, during the past year:
- 27% increased their training budget
- 18% transferred existing employees into skill shortage areas
- 25% allowed employee study leave for external training
- 48% of the region's companies were recruiting apprentices.
According to recent CITB research around 15,550 additional construction workers will be needed across the North West in the next five years. Employers are being urged to do more to upskill and train in order to meet future demand.
Steve Housden, CITB's sector strategy manager for the North West, said: "Figures from our Construction Skills Network show that projects over the next five years will demand thousands of construction recruits across the North West. We're always looking at ways to encourage both new recruits and the retraining of past employees but we need help from local construction firms to make this happen.
"Hays' results show progress is being made but it also illustrates how important it is for all of us involved in the construction industry to help ourselves. We are calling on employers to do more to tackle immediate skills gaps but also work with us to attract talent into our industry. It's vital that we promote construction more widely in school to attract the top talent that we need to meet the challenges of the future. Together we are ideally placed to inspire and recruit the next generation of apprentices and show construction as an appealing career choice."